Job losses in Petone at NZ Post

VERNON SMALL AND HAMISH RUTHERFORD
Last updated 15:23 26/02/2014
Petone mail plant

MASSIVE BUILDING: The 2.3ha NZ Post mail processing centre site in Petone.

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More than a hundred New Zealand Post staff in Wellington have today been told their jobs are going.

The changes, subject to consultation with affected staff, would see the Petone call centre is to close, costing at least 44 jobs.

Some may be able to relocate to Christchurch ,where 30 jobs will be created,  but the union representing staff said that was not realistic for ordinary working people.

The biggest hit will be to back office staff and head office managers where 70 jobs will go mostly in Wellington.

The cuts are the first significant step in a major restructuring the state-owned company said could affect up to 2000 positions over time.

It has blamed big falls in its traditional mail delivery volumes.

Chairman Sir Michael Cullen told a select committee earlier this month that the decline in letter volumes was running at about 8 per cent a year.

It is also planning to cut the six day a week delivery in urban centres to three days a week.

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) said it was disappointed NZ Post has decided to close its Wellington contact centre in Te Puni, Petone. 

"This will result in the loss of a further 47 jobs," EPMU National Industry Organiser for Communications, Joe Gallagher said.

Staff a had been told and were "devastated" by the news.

"These people are devastated. They're destroyed, they're in tears," Gallagher said.

"Given that New Zealand Post is a state owned enterprise is has to consider the public good in its decision, and we're not convinced they've considered all options," Gallagher said in a statement.

"It is our understanding that no thought has been given to reviewing their entire Wellington operation. There are two other call centres operating out of the Capital and we are concerned that no consultation has taken place with the key stakeholders within the local economy." 

He said while the company has offered to relocate people to Auckland and Christchurch that was unrealistic for ordinary working people.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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