Manufacturing workers are facing uncertain times in a sector largely unsupported by government policy, FIRST Union said today.
Today’s Business NZ/BNZ Performance of Manufacturing index reported a flat month in manufacturing activity in June, and down on May’s figures.
The sector faced significant pressures, in particular the high New Zealand dollar, said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union, which represents workers in textiles and wood processing.
“While manufacturing of goods from some of our primary industries, particularly dairy, remains strong, exporters of non commodity manufactured goods are continuing to face difficult times,” Robert Reid said.
“For manufacturing workers, this uncertainty has taken the toll with several major redundancy announcements recently.”
“Our union has dealt with redundancies at two major textiles firms, Norman Ellison Carpets in Auckland and Summit Wool Spinners, Oamaru, and at Goodman Fielder Frankton Meats in Hamilton. And we learnt in this past week that EPMU members at Flotech in Manukau are to lose their jobs also.”
“Each closure or redundancy situation represents further examples of the government’s do-nothing approach to monetary policy failing to protect jobs in industry.”
“Our high currency is punishing exporters. The government’s unwillingness to aggressively tackle the fundamentals of our monetary policy settings is costing jobs.”
“It is time the government realises that there has to be a better plan and support for the manufacturing sector,” Robert Reid said.