Men were reportedly in tears as Delta confirmed the loss of
up to 23 jobs yesterday, although some workers could yet be
offered a reprieve.
Delta chief executive Grady Cameron confirmed the
redundancies in a written statement, just over a week after
announcing up to 30 jobs could go from the company's roading
and drainage operation in Dunedin.
The number of redundancies had been lowered following
consultation with staff and their representatives, but would
still be "unwelcome" news, he said.
There remained a "significant opportunity" for those losing
jobs to be redeployed in other parts of the company, which
operated around the South Island, he said.
Affected workers would be offered the chance to reapply for a
reduced number of remaining jobs, or for new roles being
created as a result of the restructuring, he said.
There were also 27 vacancies for permanent and seasonal roles
available within Delta across Otago and Canterbury, including
Dunedin and Christchurch, and workers could apply for those,
too, he said.
Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand (Southern) secretary
Calvin Fisher - representing 15 of the workers who faced
redundancy - could not be contacted yesterday.
However, one Delta worker, who would not be named, told the
Otago Daily Times those losing their jobs were "pretty
"Some of them, grown men, probably older than me, are walking
out in tears.
"They're just absolutely broken."
The worker dismissed the offer of work elsewhere within the
company as "just a ploy" designed to soften the blow.
"I got the feeling there's not much trust in that."
Mr Cameron conceded not all staff would have the required
skills for all of the vacancies, which included project
manager positions, but most affected staff would be "strong
contenders" for many of them.
"There's no doubt that today was difficult. Obviously, I
sympathise with all of the staff there ... but the reality is
these are genuine vacancies within the business right now.
"We are going to need to fill those vacancies."
Earlier, when announcing the proposed redundancies last week,
Mr Cameron said the company needed to adjust to "ongoing
tough market conditions", a lack of property development work
and reduced spending by central and local government.
Yesterday, Mr Cameron said the company was making "every
practical effort" to help workers through the process, and
acknowledged the "direct impact on our employees and their
It was possible the number who lose their jobs could change,
as one of the 30 workers affected by the original proposal
was yet to be consulted, due to personal circumstances, he
The job losses came just months after the company announced
redundancies in the Central Otago and Queenstown Lakes areas,
and amid lingering concern over its decision - in 2008 and
2009 - to invest in property at Jacks Point, near Queenstown,
and at Luggate.
The company was now said to be considering a write-down in
the value of those investments, possibly by up to $9 million,
but that was yet to be confirmed.