7 Oct 2011

Job losses at carpet maker Cavalier - union

7:07 pm on 7 October 2011

Carpet maker Cavalier has made 22 workers redundant in its Wiri, Napier and Whanganui mills, according to the union representing textile workers.

The FIRST union says Norman Ellison Carpets, which is 70% owned by Cavalier, is also cutting 20 positions at its Onehunga yarn mill.

It says both companies will shut down for a week around Labour Day at the end of October.

Cavalier lifted its annual underlying profit by 4% to $17.3 million in 2011, but warned growth in Australasia would be subdued.

The union says the job losses jobs won't be the last if the price of wool remains high and the reconstruction of Christchurch does not begin soon.

General secretary Robert Reid says although $7 per kilogram for wool is good news for farmers, it is crippling the carpeting-making industry.

The union says Cavalier's main competitor Godfrey Hirst had already lost 120 jobs at its Christchurch yarn plant as a result of earthquake damage.

The FIRST Union was formed at the beginning of the October in an amalgamation of the National Distribution Union and banking union Finsec.

Cavalier's managing director could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Shares in Cavalier Corporation were unchanged at $3.10 in Friday's trading on the sharemarket.