Staff in Timaru Hospital's laundry department have been told some may lose their jobs, not because of a lack of work, but because there's too much.
South Canterbury District Health Board is moving to reduce the department's workload.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union says the health board on Monday told 41 staff that seven full-time-equivalent positions may be cut.
A spokesperson, John Gardner, said the laundry is operating 24 hours a day, six days a week, and those hours will be reduced to create more time for equipment maintenance.
"To be able to guarantee their product and guarantee the service ... they needed to cut back on the hours it was operating so that there was time to maintain the equipment."
Mr Gardner said staff members are upset, but also relieved there is plenty of work for the department. A decision will be made in a few weeks.