Report from BusinessDesk
New Zealand Post became the latest major employer to announce job cuts as it closes its Datamail centre in Petone, Wellington, at the cost of 70 jobs, and axes 30 jobs in Auckland.
Datamail, which prints junk mail for advertisers, will close the Petone site in mid-2014, will offset the cuts with the creation of 30 new positions in its Christchurch Datamail operation.
The company is investing in new printer technology and no longer needs as many machines to meet demand, so is closing one of its three sites.
The announcement follows reports that Contact Energy, the largest listed electricity company on the NZX, will cut its 1100 workforce by 10 percent as part of a $40 million cost-cutting drive, and 192 job losses at an unprofitable Oamaru wool-spinning operation.
“While the number of printers will reduce, the capacity will increase,” said NZ Post spokesman John Tulloch in a statement. “Our major competitors have this technology and not keeping pace would risk Datamail losing customers and not being able to provide the product range the market demands.”
NZ Post chief executive Brian Roche announced earlier this month that NZ Post wants to renegotiate its mail service agreement with the government, to reduce six day a week residential postal deliveries to three days a week, as it faces declining mail volumes.
Statement from Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union
EPMU postal sector organiser Joe Gallagher says the job cuts are a blow for communities already struggling with high unemployment.
“These redundancies have come as a shock to workers and it will take a while for everyone to digest what it means. New Zealand Post has committed to a fair consultation and timeframe but the reality is redundancy is never easy for anyone. While we accept the restructuring is a result of new machinery being installed, we have serious concerns about the state of the job market our members will be facing and we believe this shows the need for a Government strategy to tackle the jobs crisis.”
The PSA says unions will be working with the company to look at future options for workers.
“It’s always disappointing to see good jobs being lost and given the lack of employment opportunities in the market, it’s important that Datam look at retraining and redeployment possibilities for affected staff within the organisation. We’ll be working hard to make sure that happens,” says PSA Assistant Secretary Jeff Osborne.