28 Jun 2014

185 jobs axed at Stockton mine

10:56 am on 28 June 2014

The union for Stockton Mine workers says it had hoped that more than two jobs could be saved from the redundancy plans.

Solid Energy on Friday confirmed that 185 people will lose their jobs at the Stockton mine on the West Coast, two less than initially proposed.

Large dump truck hauling coal at Stockton coal mine, Granity, West Coast.

Large dump truck hauling coal at Stockton coal mine, Granity, West Coast. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Solid Energy has been undertaking consultation with workers since announcing proposed redundancies earlier in June in response to continuing low coal prices.

It said it needed to reduce production at the export mine by a quarter from 1.9 million tonnes a year to 1.4 million tonnes in the next financial year.

Chief executive Dan Clifford said constructive feedback during the consultation period has resulted in some changes to the final restructuring.

As a result, the number of redundancies will be reduced by two, with 135 employees and 50 contractors now losing their jobs.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union's West Coast organiser said two less is better than nothing, but does little to lessen the blow the workers.

Garth Elliot said workers will find out who gets to keep their job on 7 July.

He said job cuts in the mining sector also hurt pubs, hotels and other local businesses, because it left fewer people around with money to spend.

Mr Elliott said the redundancies at Stockton will follow up to 250 job losses at Solid Energy's Spring Creek Mine, and a restructuring at Oceana Gold's mine near Reefton.

Friday's announcement is the latest cuts that been made over the past two years, and have seen the beleaguered state-owned enterprise reduce its staff of 1600 by half.