Over 100 Croxley jobs on line

Last updated 18:13 21/08/2014

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The union representing some of the 100-plus workers facing job losses at Croxley Stationery is blaming the Government for its inaction to protect the manufacturing industry.

Croxley is proposing to close its Avondale factory in Auckland and move from being a wholesaler with some locally made products, to being a wholesaler only.

Staff were told about the job losses today, with consultation taking place over the next two weeks.

Croxley has a history in New Zealand stretching back almost 100 years, with well-known brands including Olympic, Warwick and Collins.

EPMU national industry organiser Joe Gallagher said the union’s members were ‘‘gutted’’ by the announcement.

‘‘They haven’t done anything wrong and the company feels they’re making the only decision they can in the economic circumstance,’’ he said.

Gallagher said New Zealand manufacturers who created well-paid jobs were finding it hard to remain competitive and were shifting jobs overseas.

‘‘We need a government which will take manufacturing seriously and help companies to keep their work in New Zealand,’’ he said.

Croxley managing director David Lilburne attributed the decision to the widespread availability of cheaper imported products, as well as the foreign exchange rate impacting on the ability to successfully export products.

However, he said a decline in physical mail and reduced demand for traditional paper-based office products had also played a part.

"Emails have replaced envelopes and writing pads," he said.

The continued capital investment in machinery required to keep producing stationery did not stack up in the declining market, he said.

Lilburne said he was ‘‘truly sorry’’ for staff, and that the company had looked hard for alternative solutions without taking the decision lightly.

"We will be working with affected staff individually to assist them through the process," he said.

Customers would also be worked with to ensure there was no interruption to supply of products.

The company is expected to make a final decision by September 4.

If the proposal goes ahead, Croxley will phase out the manufacturing business between now and the middle of next year.

Fellow stationery firm Hallmark recently announced plans to outsource its New Zealand operations to another company, cutting 106 jobs.

The company blamed the decision on local market factors and an attempt to control costs.

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