16 Oct 2013

Union fights Air NZ's overseas recruitment

9:47 am on 16 October 2013

The Engineering, Printing and Manfacturing Union is opposing a plan by the national carrier to put non-New Zealanders into skilled jobs.

Air New Zealand has applied to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for renewed accreditation to employ people from overseas.

The ministry has sent an email to unions requesting feedback on the submission.

The EPMU has written to the ministry opposing the application, saying maintenance jobs are being lost throughout the country and locals could fill the roles that are still on offer.

Last year, 40 jobs including in engineering were axed at the Christchurch Engine Centre, a joint venture involving Air New Zealand.

In August, the airline announced it will cut 180 engineering maintenance staff in Auckland by the middle of next year.

And earlier this month, Air New Zealand subsidiary Safe Air, which provides aircraft maintenance, confirmed 69 jobs losses in Blenheim.

In a statement, Air New Zealand says the jobs it is trying to fill are highly specialised and it would be difficult to find people for them within New Zealand.

The roles include university-qualified avionic engineers, software automation test engineers and design engineers.

The deadline for responses to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's request for feedback is Friday.