20 Mar 2009

Anxious wait for North Otago workers

9:41 pm on 20 March 2009

Anxious workers at North Otago's second largest employer are still waiting to hear if they will lose their jobs.

Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru, which employs 315 people, announced plans to restructure at a meeting with workers on Friday afternoon.

But many workers were visibly disappointed that no final decision on redundancies has been made, with some calling the meeting "a joke" and "a circus".

One employee, David Stenning, says workers wanted answers, but instead face an anxious wait as the company considers its options.

Summit Wool Spinners director Ricky Hammond-Tooke says for the past few months the factory's production capacity has far exceeded the number of orders it received.

The company produces rug and carpet yarn for international and domestic markets and underwent a $10 million expansion six years ago to increase capacity by 25%.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says the company has been operating below capacity for some time.

Summit Wool Spinners will meet with unions and workers again next week, and has asked anyone who wishes to take voluntary redundancy to make that known by Tuesday.