The new owner of the Summit Wools Spinners plant in Oamaru
will take up residence on Friday, and is expected to make a
decision on the long-term future of the plant by May.
The plant, which employs 192 people, was sold to Canterbury
Spinners, an offshoot of Australian carpet manufacturer
Godfrey Hirst, in January. Summit financial director Ricky
Hammond Tooke yesterday confirmed that February 28 would be
the final day of trading, before the new owner moved in a day
''Basically, we walk out on February 28, and they walk in on
As part of the sale all 192 workers would be made redundant,
but a New Zealand spokesman for Godfrey Hirst said it was
expected a skeleton crew of about 50 staff would be rehired
short-term, while the company investigated the plant's
''Godfrey Hirst had a plant in Christchurch, which got
destroyed in the earthquake, and they relocated capacity to
other plants in the North Island, but they don't have a South
Island spinning operation.''
He said the Oamaru plant ''could'' allow the company to have
a South Island presence, but that would not be known for
''We will probably know by May what the future of the plant
EPMU lead organiser John Gardner said although the new owners
had made job offers to some management staff, the majority of
rank-and-file employees had been left in limbo.
''As yet, they haven't done anything about production-type
Mr Gardner said it was expected that most workers would
finish up today.
''The workers have been finishing for a period of time now.
All the actual workers will be finished [today],'' he said It
was now a case of ''wait and see'', as to how many workers
would be offered employment at the plant.