21 Apr 2011

Fewer casual workers needed as Sealord upgrades plant

2:04 pm on 21 April 2011

Seafood company Sealord is to spend $2.5 million on new packaging technology at its Nelson plant, which may lead to the loss of 14 casual work jobs.

Operations manager Shane Norton says the new state-of-the art equipment will cut packaging times and improve product quality and working conditions.

Mr Norton says no full-time jobs will be affected by the upgrade, but five to seven fewer casual workers will be needed in each of two shifts.

The new equipment, which will be supplied from firms in the United States and New Zealand, will take the company's investment in the processing plant to $13.5 million over the last two years.

Despite the possible job loses, Service and Food Workers Union spokesperson Neville Donaldson says the changes are positive and should ensure the longer term future of Sealord's Nelson factory.

The new equipment is expected to be up and running in mid-September.