Thirty four jobs are on the line at a boutique Napier meatworks as part of a reset that has put workers "just about around the twist".
Fresh Meats NZ, a niche lamb processing and packaging facility in Ahuriri, confirmed to Hawke's Bay Today that the "reset" could include job cuts.
The company is owned by Gisborne-based parent company Integrated Foods Limited and employs 100 staff who process over 250,000 lambs per year.
Integrated Foods Limited General Manager Blair Cooper said up to 34 staff could be let go as the business moved to adopt a new processing model.
One employee who wanted to stay anonymous said that "psychologically the workers are just about around the twist".
The decision follows consultation with staff on the proposed changes.
Cooper said the reset was necessary to future-proof the company.
"Resetting would enable it to build on key partnerships with suppliers and customers, develop a greater emphasis on workmanship with more opportunities for staff to rotate and upskill, and encourage a greater focus on teamwork."
Meatworkers Union's organiser Eric Mischefski said the only thing it was concerned about was the potential loss of employment for its members.
"We are at the point where we are discussing the terms and conditions of the reset, but our main concern is the loss of employment to our members."
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He wasn't able to discuss the details of negotiations but said that all they want to come out of this is that all employees are treated fairly during the process.
"What we want to make sure is that those who have shown loyalty with this company are treated fairly," Mischefski said.
"We just want to make sure that our members are treated with fairness and respect because quite a few people at the moment are apprehensive about what the future holds."
Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay President Jim Galloway said potential job losses were disappointing, but could secure a better future for those still employed.
"It could be really awful for those that might be leaving but for those still staying on it will help to ensure a more secure job for them in the future," Galloway said.
"Those that might see jobs cut, it could be hard for them to find another job in the industry because some of the bigger factories are based outside Napier and might see people having to move if they choose to stay in the industry."
Consultation between union and staff will continue over the next few weeks.