Solid Energy says it can't yet reveal how many of the
Stockton mineworkers losing their jobs are being made to go,
how many have volunteered to go, and how many of those offers
have been accepted.
Union members received preliminary advice today on who has
jobs and who doesn't. They were supposed to be told last
Monday but the announcements were postponed, reportedly
because about 100 - many more than anticipated - had sought
All-up, the mine is cutting 185 workers - 135 Stockton
Alliance employees and 50 contractor employees - from its
Stakeholder relations manager Vicki Blyth declined to answer
questions today about how many of the 135 were being laid off
and how many were seeking voluntary redundancy. She said
definitive numbers wouldn't be available until the
restructure was finalised.
Only those workers employed under the collective agreement
with the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union
received their preliminary advice today, Ms Blyth said.
Workers would have a week to appeal the preliminary
Solid Energy was still working through the selection process
for contestable roles with other employees.
It was also still finalising approvals for voluntary
Those made redundant finish work immediately, while those
accepted for voluntary redundancy have to work a month's
Asked why, Ms Blyth said workers granted voluntary redundancy
should be able to fully focus on their work for the notice
period, but those made redundant might not be able to.
"As a result we have decided that it would be better for
these employees not to return to work."
As well, under the terms of their collective agreement,
employees granted voluntary redundancy were required to work
out their notice period.
However, if asked, Solid Energy would consider on a
case-by-case basis individual requests to leave early from
those who have been accepted for voluntary redundancy, she
"We do not expect any problems in relation to employees
working short notice provided that they have made the
necessary arrangements with their manager."
A Stockton worker told the Westport News earlier this week
that an overwhelming number of experienced mineworkers had
volunteered for redundancy because they were fed up with the
mine and the way it was managed.
He said it looked likely a number of those who had
volunteered would be declined redundancy.
An information day for affected Stockton workers will be held
at Westport's NBS Theatre tomorrow. They'll be told about job
opportunities, what is on offer in Christchurch, and
government assistance available.
Ms Blyth said about eight employers were attending, both from
the West Coast and Canterbury, and another five employers
were providing information packs.
A couple of recruitment agencies would also be there, she
- By Lee Scanlon of the Westport News