A plastic packaging factory operating for more than 60 years near Hastings will close this year with staff set to lose their jobs.
Workers at the Alto packaging plant on Railway Rd in Pakipaki were informed a week before Christmas the plant would be closing, with operations winding down from June 30 this year.
The company said they employ 50 staff at the facility and it has been operating since the 1950s in various capacities, not just packaging.
It is understood staff have been offered redundancy or the option to be redeployed to sister sites, such as Wellington, but the majority are set to take redundancy.
Some of the workers have been employed at the plant for decades.
Alto, which is owned by Pact Group, has plants in New Zealand and Australia and makes all kinds of plastic packaging goods from milk bottles to bakery containers and even jerrycans.
Pact Packaging NZ executive general manager Eric Kjestrup said there was not enough demand in the fresh food packaging sector to keep the facility open.
"There is a need to close one of our existing plants to enable us to invest and rationalise our operations to drive the benefits of scale and increase efficiencies while also reducing overheads."
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The decision to close the facility came after a detailed review by the company.
E Tu union regional organiser Norm Mouritsen said the closure announcement was made to staff on December 19.
"That was the worst thing. The timing was insensitive. It was pretty crap news to hear right before Christmas."
He said the union had been working alongside the workers, many of whom were on a collective agreement, as well as the company following the decision. E Tu has almost 30 members working at the Alto facility.
Mouritsen said the company had been following due process around redundancies and the closure, but it was a difficult time for many workers.
"Some of them have been there for 40 years and a good number have been there for a significant amount of time, so it does have an impact on them and their families and further afield into the community."
He said the company had offered all the union members at the plant an option of taking redundancy or being redeployed to sister sites such as Wellington, but that was difficult for most who had lives and housing set up in Hawke's Bay.