Store staff all offered other jobs elsewhere

JOHN ANTHON
Last updated 05:00 22/01/2013

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All 52 staff at a New Plymouth Countdown due to close in March have been told they will be offered jobs at other Countdown supermarkets.

The Leach St Countdown, owned by Progressive Enterprises, will close because it is no longer financially viable.

Countdown spokesman Luke Schepen said the 52 people employed at the supermarket would be offered jobs at New Plymouth's three other Countdown supermarkets, or further afield if they desired.

"Everyone who wants a job will be given opportunities in other Countdown supermarkets under the same employment terms," Mr Schepen said.

First Union retail secretary Maxine Gay said Countdown was fulfilling its obligations as an employer and was doing everything possible to offer employees positions elsewhere.

"It's one of those rare occasions when the company will do everything it can to offer other choices."

Employees would most likely be transferred into roles similar to those that they currently held, she said.

Mr Schepen said Progressive Enterprises was committed to providing job security for its employees.

"That's a commitment that we've made to those team members."

New Plymouth's three other Countdown stores at The Valley, Courtenay St and South Rd would be busier after the Leach St Countdown closure, which would open up more employment opportunities, he said.

"Closing one store means trade will pick up at our other supermarkets as well."

Each employee at Leach St Countdown had been spoken to by senior management and told they would be offered jobs at other Progressive Enterprises supermarkets, he said.

Leach St Countdown opened in December 1992 and was one of the smaller stores in the Countdown network, Mr Schepen said.

Progressive closed Westown Woolworths in May 2011, after opening Spotswood Countdown.

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