Workers relieved as new sawmill comes to Gisborne
The union representing dozens of sawmill workers whose jobs hang in the balance at JNL say they are pleased to see Far East Sawmills announce a move to Gisborne that could see up to 60 new jobs created.
The move comes after JNL announced two weeks ago a restructure proposal at its Gisborne mill which could see up to 97 jobs go from its 250-strong workforce.
“This announcement comes on the same day that JNL’s consultation closes with workers and unions on its job loss proposal,” said FIRST Union President Robert Reid..
“Our submission to JNL calls on the company to put its proposal on hold while it works with Government, industry and local development agencies to investigate a number of options to keep the mill running without resorting to redundancies.
“It will come as some relief for JNL workers that another wood processing mill is starting up just down the road.
“However the tragedy is that if JNL do make around 100 jobs redundant then the 60 about to be created jobs at Far East still leaves a job deficit of 40. If JNL back off from closing half its mill then we would see a net gain of 60 jobs in the community.
“Activate Tairawhiti and the Eastland Community Trust must be congratulated on the work they have done to bring this project to fruition. We are also aware that the two groups are working on other projects to establish further wood processing jobs in the region.
FIRST Union believes an alliance between local economic development agencies, government and industry has the potential to create even more wood processing jobs in the region,” Robert Reid said.