Just a few days after the Job Summit, Nelson-based Sealord is cutting at least 180 jobs and creating 50 in what Businessday describes as “a major restructure aimed at boosting its flagging financial performance and adapting to tougher economic times”.
The net result is 130 jobs down the gurgler. At least, it is if Alf has done his sums correctly, which can’t be guaranteed at this time of day.
‘Sealord’s core business unit, its New Zealand based fishing operations, has been earning returns significantly below its cost of capital for several years,” Sealord chief executive Graham Stuart said.
Inevitably, the trade unions are crying foul.
The Service and Food Workers Union is critical of this happening “within days of the Job Summit called by the Prime Minister to work out how to save jobs.”
At a time when unity and collective cooperation between unions, employers and the Government is making headlines, Sealord have just demanded that their employees must accept a reduction in wages to increase profits or face dismissal.
“Sealord intends to lay off around 160 staff immediately, and have indicated to us that they may close the processing plant in the near future unless staff agree to what is effectively a $70 a week cut in wages across the board.” said Neville Donaldson, SFWU Assistant National Secretary.
“At a time when most business are saying they are prepared to make less profits in order to secure employment, Sealord have demanded that workers increase the company profits by $1.8 million through wage and condition cuts.”
Alf was tempted to rejoin that Sealord’s chief executive wasn’t on the list of names of those who attended the Job Summit. Hence he might plead he is bound by nothing that happened there.
Robin Hapi, from Maori-owned Aotearoa Fisheries, was on the guest list for the summit, according to the Beehive list.
Sealord is owned by Aotearoa Fisheries and Japan’s Nissui.
And there was a strong focus at the summit on Maori job prospects as the recession deepens.
Hapi perhaps was preoccupied with what was happening back at Sealord and not paying attention.
I feel badly about the Sealord people losing their jobs, but considering how union people have been threatening to name and shame business people for firing the new-hire that turns out to be worthless, one has to wonder if shadenfreude will soon replace sympathy.
If it does, then we all lose.
Hapi was probably high on chemicals from the cardboard lunch box and not paying any attention.