Tasman Tanning has made 17 staff redundant with the Covid-19 pandemic causing a significant decrease in orders for finished leather from the automotive and aviation industries.
The company is a major New Zealand producer of finished leather. It has 230 to 240 staff and most of its product is exported.
"Our customers were affected to varying degrees. A lot of them are actually still suffering [in the pandemic]. Some are back in lockdown or have a very significant reduction in demand for product," Tasman Tanning chief executive Neville Dyer said.
The staff members who lost their jobs finished work last week, after a process of consultation that took several weeks.
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They were a mixture of long-term and short-term staff and had been on leave for a few weeks. When they returned it was obvious to them that there was not enough work to keep them going.
"They were all pretty much resigned to the fact that there wasn't a need," Dyer said.
Their redundancy packages were "reasonably generous".
Demand for Tasman Tanning's finished leather is expected to rebound by the end of this year or early next year. If it does people who have lost their jobs will get first option for re-employment, Dyer said.