Fletcher Construction may have ditched its staff, but the Taranaki community has looked after them.
The company told its 37 employees yesterday they were out of a job.
The branch will officially close on October 27, but the Taranaki Daily News understands most staff left straight after hearing the news.
Workers were told two weeks ago closure was possible and once the news became public the Taranaki community stepped up, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union representative Jarad Mason said.
"Fletchers ditched us, but the community has looked after us," Mr Mason said.
People had been phoning offering work, and everyone of those laid off who wanted a job had got one.
But staff were shocked and feeling let down by the company, he said.
"The Fletcher family they go on about is dead and buried to us. They keep saying they have got a good culture at Fletchers, but they have just chucked us out."
While pleased they had jobs to go to, men spoken to by the Taranaki Daily News were "gutted" and "angry".
Going around the table the men had worked for Fletcher Construction for 25 years, 20 years, nine, 15, and 10.
One young man said he had been hoping to do a "life stint" with the company. The men proudly listed Yarrow Stadium and the Opera House among projects they had been involved with.
John Parkes said after 19 years he was going to walk away with eight weeks' redundancy.
The average payout would be two weeks' notice and two weeks' redundancy.
The men had been offered numerous jobs, he said, which showed how good the Taranaki community was.
But they were told the company was going to make sure they had new jobs.
"They have offered us nothing."
Terry Herlihy said one of his colleagues had applied for a job with the company in Christchurch, but had been told they didn't need any carpenters.
When staff initially heard the news, two weeks ago, they were invited to put in submissions to try to save their jobs - and everyone did, he said.
But it didn't make any difference.
"The top guy talked for probably five minutes and when he hadfinished his spiel he was out the door and back into his car like the Lone Ranger off into the sunset never to be seen again."
The Taranaki Daily News put some questions to Fletcher Construction but was referred to a statement by building and interiors general manager Greg Pritchard.
The company would continue to pursue work in the region on a project basis, with future operations run out of Hamilton or Wellington, he said.
"We understand the impact that this change may have on our people and their families and the company will be offering a range of support services if required."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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