Despite laying off 47 workers (see previous post on Summit), the National Government have agreed to pay Summit Wool Spinners a subsidy in order that the remaining 53 workers can stay in work.

That subsidy is $325,000

As I mentioned in a previous post, Summit cut wages by reducing shift hours from twelve hours to ten hours in November last year.

According to Paul Watson of the National Distribution Union the Oamaru business was looking to cut hours further from ten to nine hours.

So, in effect, all this 'subsidy' has done is prevent a further cut in wages - but 47 workers still find themselves out of work.

While the final deal was signed off by Robert Reid from the National Distribution Union this deal was largely 'brokered' by John Gardner from the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU).

EPMU president Andrew Little said last month that “Workers didn't cause this recession and it’s not on to expect them to pay the price.'

Big words from 'business friendly' Little - but 47 former Summit workers are now paying the price.

Also, there is no guarantee that there will not be further job cuts once the six month subsidy runs out.


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