6 Feb 2013

Oamaru mill redundancy deal reached

6:06 am on 6 February 2013

Unions say they have reached a redundancy agreement for almost 200 workers at an Oamaru woollen mill.

Summit Wool Spinners last week told its 192 staff that all jobs were ending when the factory is sold to carpet maker Godfrey Hirst at the end of February.

A skeleton staff of up to 50 workers may be rehired.

Union representatives and managers met last Friday and on Monday to wrap up details of the redundancies.

They will be released after a meeting with workers this Friday.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing lead organiser John Gardner says it is a good deal in the circumstances and hopes to start negotiations with Godfrey Hirst about possible new jobs next week.

Farmers urge Govt to push wool for Christchurch

Federated Farmers wants to see the Government doing more to encourage the use of woollen carpets as part of the Christchurch rebuild.

The lobby group says 2 million sqm of floor coverings will be needed to complete the rebuild and this represents a big opportunity for sheep farmers.

Chairperson of Federated Farmers meat and fibre section Jeanette Maxwell says unless more is done to push the use of wool, farmers will stop breeding the sheep that provide it.

Mrs Maxwell, says makers of woollen carpets struggle to compete against companies making nylon carpets, which tend to have bigger marketing budgets.