One of the unions representing over 200 workers facing the axe as SkyCity embarks on a multi-million dollar cost-cutting programme says its being kept in the dark about who will lose their jobs.
SkyCity today announced it was planning to cull 230 jobs as part of a plan to trim $33 million in costs.
The cost cutting will also mean the immediate sale of its $54 million Metro building in Auckland's Queen St, which houses cinemas.
The group has casinos in Hamilton, Christchurch, Auckland, Queenstown, Adelaide and Darwin, as well as cinema and hotel operations, and employs more than 4000 staff.
Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) northern regional secretary Jill Ovens told NZPA SkyCity had not spoken to the union about the redundancies prior to the announcement and it was desperately trying to find out what was happening.
"This is as news to us as it is to anyone else. They haven't consulted about it and they haven't told their staff which is pretty disgusting."
Ms Ovens said SkyCity had 900 union members -- from both SFWU and Unite -- in jobs ranging from dealers, pokie machine attendants, security, caterers, cleaners, electricians, housekeepers and car park workers.
She later told NZPA it appeared there would be a staff meeting tomorrow where SkyCity would outline its plans.
Unite general secretary Matt McCarten said the job cuts left a "sour taste" but he believed those most at risk of losing their jobs were in management.
"It won't affect most of our members because you've got about a quarter of the people on their payroll are management, so you ask yourself (where the cuts will be).
"The frontline staff are already quite tight."
Mr McCarten said the SkyCity investors' profits had been built on the backs of workers, who were now facing redundancy.
"That leaves a sour taste in one's mouth because a lot of these workers have been there for 10 years and helped build this golden goose."
Unite had between 700 and 800 of the union workforce at SkyCity, including some frontline managers.
Mr McCarten said there was a 20 per cent annual staff turnover in gaming areas and up to 50 per cent in other parts of SkyCity, so Unite believed any frontline staff redundancies could be minimised.
He confirmed there would be a full staff meeting tomorrow.
He said it appeared SkyCity's investments in cinemas and Christchurch and Adelaide had been mistakes.
SkyCity spokesman Zac Qereqeretabua said he could not say where jobs were likely to be cut be but he said the reduction of 230 full-time equivalent jobs would be over a 12 to 18 month period.
It would not affect frontline customer services positions, he said.
The company was considering whether to make an announcement on the types and locations of the redundancies.
Announcing the measures today, SkyCity managing directory Evan Davies said centralising operations would mean the "elimination" of 230 fulltime equivalent workers (FTEs).
A $4m office building in Auckland's Symonds St was also slated for sale, and "particular focus" would be on the cinema business and SkyCity's shareholdings in Christchurch Casino and Adelaide.
Mr Davies said analysts had estimated the company's profit for the 2008 financial year to be between $107m and $122m.
An audit process had identified $33m in potential cost savings.
Mr Davies said a $40m makeover of the main gaming floor at the casino in Auckland was nearly finished and gamblers remained the company's core customers.
Asian customers were also "significant and growing proportion" of SkyCity's Auckland customers and it was taking several initiatives to cater to them.
As at 4pm today, SkyCity's share price was up 15 cents at $5.07 -- just over 3per cent -- in the wake of the announcement, having traded as high as $5.20 today.
According to its 2006 annual report, SkyCity has $1.7 billion in assets and made a net tax-paid profit of $120.1m in 2005/06.
Its annual report tagged the Queenstown operations for not meeting its objectives.
Queenstown's revenues were down $1.8 million amid lower than expected visitor numbers to the area.