Jobs go at plant
Sixteen people have suffered the "cruel fate'' of losing their jobs at an ailing Feilding fibreglass manufacturer.
Forty people at Fibreglass Development were made redundant last month when owner Steve Bond voluntarily called in receivers.
Only 24 staff retained positions, while 16 people, including migrant workers, learned they had lost their jobs week.
Mr Bond said the receivers' decision was sad for the hard working employees.
"We've had some people there for a very long time but when it comes to reality we have to make decisions and it's a very cruel fate, very cruel,'' Mr Bond said.
But he felt "optimistic'' about the company's ability to keep contracts rolling in.
"It will be a long, hard slog,'' he said. "We've actually picked up contracts and a few jobs and quite a few of them are long term.
Many of the company's clients had stayed with them, he said.
"Not all of them have been supportive, which was disappointing, but some have been very accommodating.''
All employees including Mr Bond, were told to reapply for their jobs as part of a restructuring plan.
"We've made offers to 24 people, but even of those we don't know if we'll keep them or not. So, if we lose too many key people that will bring us to our knees anyway.''
Workers from as far afield as the Philippines were not rehired, but all the fibreglass manufacturer's migrant workers had managed to secure other employment ensuring they could stay in New Zealand, Mr Bond said.
The company owes a total of $252,000 to creditors, with $80,000 of that owed to a trust in Mr Bond's name.
It has been tough market for the fibreglass manufacturing business as demand for transport industry contracts were increasingly being lost to overseas bidders.
In 2006, there was controversy when Sir Peter Jackson's Dambusters film project preferred an overseas bidder for work, thought to be worth about $1 million.
In 2009, the loss of contracts, due to stalling demand from the transport industry, meant 27 staff were cut from FDL's Katikati and Feilding sites when the company restructured.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you agree with increased oil exploration?