E tū, the union
at Cloud Ocean, says it met today with site management and its union delegates
to discuss the company proposal to lay off 125 of the 160 strong work force.
E tū Industry
Coordinator (Manufacturing & Food), Phil Knight says the company has been
difficult to work with but it’s disappointing things have come to this.
“This is hard
news for the workers, and we will be talking with our members about a response
to the proposal, and doubtless seeking compensation for the loss of their jobs
and income, as well as commitments around re-employment should the plant resume
operations,” says Phil.
He says he’s
hopeful most workers will find jobs in the event the plant shuts down.
workers and any of the businesses crying out for people with a good work ethic
and production skills would benefit from offering them employment.”
Phil says the
union has no view on the controversy surrounding the company’s use of water
from the local aquifer.
“The thing for
us is whether they’ve been a fair and reasonable employer and contributed to
the Christchurch economy, and the fact is they haven’t,” says Phil.
permanent workers on pretty much minimum wages and conditions, and the work is
precarious – they’ve faced constant changes of shift and shift cancellations at
“It’s had a
high turnover because of the very poor conditions,” he says.
Phil says the
company seems to have been disorganised from the start.
to have been little due diligence to ensure they had a market to supply, to
as well as what’s required to run a business in New Zealand. They’ve been
applying practices that may be commonplace in China but not acceptable in New
Phil says that includes
constant breaches of health and safety, basic employment conditions and Holiday
acknowledged few in Canterbury will be sad to hear the plant is likely to
Cloud Ocean has contributed little to Christchurch, with materials including
the plastic bottles, boxes and equipment all imported from overseas.
“But there is
an opportunity to at least ensure any worker losing their job through this is
treated right, and to look after staff properly if they do get production
E tū Industry Coordinator (Manufacturing & Food) ph. 027 591 0053