The union representing workers at a Dannevirke textile plant says the company has told them it is proposing 50 or more job losses.
"The Dannevirke community has been hit hard today with the news of redundancies at one of the town's major employers," First Union textiles secretary Paul Watson said.
"Canterbury Spinners Limited told staff at its Dannevirke plant this morning that they are proposing 50 or more redundancies."
A company spokesman Geoff Senescall said the move was "regrettable but a reality of manufacturing''.
Demand for woollen carpets was not what it had been.
"The carpet market is a pretty challenging environment... hence the need to rethink the processes.''
The 50 redundancies would come from the spinning side of the operation, with the 35 remaining staff in the dyeing part of the business.
According to the union the company's proposal is now out for consultation.
If it goes ahead, the job losses would take place by the end of September.
The company is proposing remaining staff move onto a shift pattern with reduced hours, Watson said.
Almost 200 Canterbury Spinners workers lost their jobs in 2011 when it was announced the Godfrey Hirst-owned Christchurch factory would not re-open.
Between nine and 11 workers made the move to Dannevirke's factory in mid-2011 after the closure of the quake-damaged plant.
The relocated workers joined 81 full-time permanent and 17 temporary staff at Dannevirke's former Feltex factory .
Watson said the move represented further rationalisation in the textiles sector and was deeply distressing for the plant's skilled workforce.
"A priority for First Union will be minimising the impact on staff, and outstanding issues for further discussion include voluntary redundancies, relocation opportunities and ensuring workers' income is protected as new shifts are introduced."
"We will also look for support to establish a redundancy support coordinator to work alongside staff made redundant to help with training and finding other jobs."
First Union general secretary Robert Reid said that in parts of the manufacturing industry, especially outside the primary sector, significant challenges remained.
"Many manufacturing workers are still facing very uncertain times."
Today's announcement follows last year's closure of Norman Ellison Carpet's spinning plant in Onehunga with around 85 job losses, and 190 redundancies at Summit Wool Spinners in Oamaru earlier this year.
Canterbury Spinners Limited purchased the Oamaru site and re-employed 60 workers.
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