The loss of the 69 workers at Safe Air's salaries alone would cost the Marlborough economy about $4 million, their union says.
Four Marlborough companies announced a total of 140 in job losses in the past week, including aircraft maintenance firm Safe Air which is to lose 69 jobs by July next year.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union director of organising Strachan Crang said unions and employers had worked together to save jobs while the Government refused to act on a high New Zealand dollar which was hurting businesses.
Mr Crang said Safe Air initially announced that 84 jobs would be lost, but after working closely with the union, 15 had been saved.
"Safe Air doesn't want to lay people off, contracts have dried up and new work is difficult to attract because the high dollar has made Aircraft Maintenance in New Zealand uncompetitive on a global stage" he said.
"This is a relief for some that we have been able to save some jobs, but it's still devastating news for the 69 workers who have lost their jobs. It's all bad news for Blenheim and the Marlborough district, with businesses closing and work in short supply."
He said the loss of the workers' salaries alone would take around $4 million annually out of the Marlborough economy.
"The Government has refused to support Kiwi jobs.
"It has sat by while the high dollar has devastated our manufacturing and export industries," Mr Crang said.
Workers at Safe Air are entitled to redundancy pay as part of their union-negotiated collective agreement.
- The Marlborough Express