PGG Wrightson to shed jobs

PGG Wrightson building on Vogel Street. Photo by Linda Robertson.
PGG Wrightson building on Vogel Street. Photo by Linda Robertson.
PGG Wrightson is restructuring part of its Dunedin operation, but the company will not say how many jobs are on the line.

PGG chief financial officer Rob Woodgate said proposal documents presented to about 70 staff last week were "strictly confidential". He confirmed more than 10 job losses were possible.

Mr Woodgate, who is based in Christchurch, said he did not have a set number in mind. A consultation process was under way and he did not know its outcome. The affected staff work in the call centre, accounts payable, and the credit team.

Most staff would know their fate by Christmas, but the accounts payable team (about 25 people) were involved in a longer process taking several months.

The intention was to become more efficient, a part of normal business practice, he said.

For at least the past year or more, the company had been improving its systems, and restructuring was part of that.

"I think anybody would have seen that we have made a lot of progress in the past 12 to 18 months, and at some point that process would have [meant] we would look at changes then within the teams."

However, as with any restructuring, it had surprised some staff, he said.

"It's never a pleasant process to go through."

One aims of the restructuring was to deal with a "legacy issue" from the merger of Pyne Gould Guinness and Wrightson about six years ago. An "old structure" embedded in the company needed to change.

"We didn't go through the changes we should have made [at the time of the merger]. Most companies when they buy another company put through a whole load of ... the business term for it is synergies."

The company would try to redeploy as many people as possible to other parts of the company. All up, PGG has about 200 employees in Dunedin.

eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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