Dozens of Huntly East Mine workers are facing an anxious wait today to learn whether they are being made redundant by Solid Energy.
The mine is closed for 24 hours while the approximate 150 staff learn whether they will be among the 63 employees who get to return to work tomorrow.
A further 60 roles, mostly contracting positions relating to the mine's ventilation upgrade project, will also be lost.
Solid Energy spokeswoman Vicki Blyth said workers who received letters saying they were ‘‘tentatively’’ being made redundant would be consulted during the next week.
The redundancies would be confirmed on October 12.
Mrs Blyth said the 105 workers were on collective employment agreements, but Solid Energy was also working with ‘‘six to eight’’ people on individual employment agreements whose roles within the company had been disestablished.
For example, the mine had reduced from having three accountants to having two.
Those employees would have the opportunity to be redeployed within the company or if nothing satisfactory could be found they would also face redundancy.
She said the 105 workers on the collective agreements were further ahead in the redundancy process, but could still apply for other roles within the company or contest their redundancies over the next week.
‘‘They can apply for new roles throughout the company but at the moment we don’t have a lot of jobs for underground miners.’’
Mine managers had been consulting employees and the Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union to select which staff would remain with the company.
It was understood the most experienced staff would keep their jobs.
Mrs Blyth said negotiations were ongoing regarding Huntly East’s coal contract with New Zealand Steel's Glenbrook mill in Auckland, where more than 80 per cent of the mine’s coal went annually.
The current five-year contract was due to expire in June next year.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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