Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Anxious wait for 105 Solid Energy staff

File photo / Greg Bowker
File photo / Greg Bowker

About 105 Solid Energy staff will stay home today to wait anxiously for letters advising them whether they will lose their jobs.

The letters will be delivered to all Huntly workers after the company confirmed last week that 63 redundancies will be made at the Huntly Mine and 230 at the Spring Creek Mine. There is a separate process running for corporate support and development roles where redundancies have also been proposed.

Solid Energy spokeswoman Vicki Blyth said coal would not be extracted from the mine for 24 hours so workers could be notified. She said workers who received letters saying they were "tentatively" being made redundant would be consulted during the next week. The redundancies would be confirmed on October 12.

Brian Lynch, the union delegate for the Huntly mine, said it was probably the best way to handle the situation given the circumstances and workers who were laid-off were not expected back at work.

"It's best people stay at home and get their letters and they can open them at home in their own privacy. It might save a bit of embarrassment for some ... Only the people who get the jobs will show up on the Friday."

The Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union organiser Ray Urquhart said management had the right to keep their most qualified staff and this was what Solid Energy's process was doing.

Ms Blyth said mine managers had been consulting employees and the EPMU to select who stayed on in the reduced number of roles.

- NZ Herald

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