New Zealand: jobs on line at cement works

New Zealand: jobs on line at cement works
Published: 13 June 2013


Holcim (New Zealand) has told staff that is about to begin a review of the works' staffing structure. Jobs are on the line at the Cape Foulwind Cement Works in Westport, Buller. The works employs about 110 in the plant and quarry and about 10 drivers.

"With the current business challenges we're all facing, we're reviewing our staffing structure at the plant and quarry over the next six weeks or so," Holcim general manager, cement, Ross Pickworth, told The Westport News.

"We expect to have a plan together at the end of July and we'll be consulting with staff on our plans after that."

Holcim is in a challenging market and had to look at cutting its costs, he said. Pickworth confirmed job cuts were a possibility, but could not say how many might go.

"It's a time of uncertainty for staff and I really would prefer to avoid speculating on what the outcome may be," he said. "But we do need to operate the business as effectively as we can within the current environment."

He added: "It's really about the fact we've got an old plant and challenging cost situation."

Mr Pickworth said the cement market was picking up somewhat with the Christchurch rebuild. However, the national market remained relatively static and was well below the peak of 2007. Rumours the Westport works was closing were incorrect, Mr Pickworth said.

There had been no new developments over Holcim's proposed new plant at Weston, near Oamaru, which remained on hold.

The possibility of more job losses is another blow for Buller, which has lost more than 320 jobs as a result of Solid Energy cutbacks.