19 Aug 2008

'Greedy' chains unfairly squeezing local clothing makers - union

6:56 pm on 19 August 2008

Greedy retail chains are putting pressure on New Zealand clothing manufacturers by importing apparel at the cheapest price and selling it at the highest price, says the National Distribution Union.

Union president Robert Reid says the loss of 40 jobs at clothing factories in Palmerston North and Levin on Monday is the latest evidence of an industry under siege.

Mr Reid says it is cheaper for companies to import most clothing from China than to have it made locally because of the reduction in tariffs.

He says more jobs could be saved if big retail chains committed themselves to sourcing 20% of clothes from New Zealand.