Last Post: Waikato Mail centre cuts
Hamilton is watching the "end of an era" as 90 jobs are cut from New Zealand Post's Waikato Mail Centre. Only a skeleton staff will remain.
The company announced in June last year that it would cut 129 staff from the centre in response to falling mail volumes, and shift the bulk of the service to Auckland.
It confirmed yesterday that 90 jobs would go, with a mix of 21 full-time and part-time roles to remain.
Waikato Mail Centre leader Murray Creighton is among the casualties.
He has worked at the centre for 15 years, and says the announcement marks "an end of an era for Hamilton".
"Some of these people have worked here for a long time and mail has been their life. They've worked with it day in, day out for, some of them, up to 30, 40 years plus.
"So it is a bit of an end of an era. There's lots of friends I've met here, and socialised with, and I won't be seeing them on a daily basis from now on."
He said the job cuts were lower than expected "due to attrition and retaining more roles at the centre".
Creighton said the cuts had come as no surprise. The drop off in mail volumes "went in waves" but the overall decline was clear to see, he said.
Staff will have to apply for the 21 remaining positions, which will primarily be part-time, including four on-call roles.
They will find out whether they got one of the jobs at the end of the month, and for the immediate future will continue to work at the Duke St centre and box lobby in Anglesea St.
The company had run a dozen workshops on topics including budgeting, CV preparation and job interview skills to help staff, and was working with other employers to "identify job opportunities", Creighton said.
Three people had chosen to take up jobs in Auckland with New Zealand Post, and there had been "good uptake" of the Future Zone programme.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union spokesperson Joe Gallagher said New Zealand Post needed to be clear about the roles that would be left in Hamilton.
He said the "bulk of the jobs are part-time" with only a handful of full time positions available.
"We shouldn't dress it up as something it's not," he said.
"If they [staff] take those jobs they are going to lose quite a bit of money".
END OF AN ERA
Every morning for almost 40 years John Nesbit has woken up looking forward to work.
It started in March of 1976 when working for New Zealand Post first came on to his radar.
It was good money in those days, he says. So he decided to take the advice of a mate and apply for a job with the company.
"I had the interview, and by the time I got home there was a telegram, ‘start on Monday,"' says Nesbit.
He did, and for the next five years he worked as a van driver delivering parcels for New Zealand Post.
There was a 25-year stint on night shift at the London Street office next, and a few years on roster, before Nesbit and the team moved to the Duke St Mail Centre in 2007. That was when he started noticing the volume of mail dropping off.
"It's sort of dropped off since we came into this building," he says.
"We actually predicted this was going to happen three years ago, the workers.
"We were sitting outside having a smoke and that, and we predicted it because of the way the volumes of mail were falling. We said ‘this place'll close down', and it did."
Nesbit, who is two months off his 70th birthday, says the cuts announced yesterday are sad.
"I still like coming to work, you know.
"I look forward to it because I know my job and I do my job pretty well, and the bosses are good here."
He'll be taking redundancy and heading off to travel the country with his wife. Once that's done, he'll be playing a fair amount of bowls in Cambridge, he says.
While Nesbit doesn't think the cuts were needed quite yet, he says he'll be leaving with good memories of New Zealand Post.
"It's been a good place to work."