15 postal jobs maybe axed

Up to 15 jobs at New Zealand Post's Strathallan St mail centre in Dunedin could be affected by a nationwide restructuring which began this week.

NZ Post had noted a 3% decline, or 30 million fewer items, going through the post during the past year, and had estimated 80-100 full-time equivalent jobs could be lost with restructuring.

Six NZ Post mail centres around the country, which employ a total of 1800 people, could be affected, including the Strathallan centre which employs 75 processing staff and 15 in administration and support.

In a series of three meetings at Strathallan St yesterday, staff were told there would be consultation over coming weeks on a reduction in work hours and that there "may be a surplus of staff", Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union postal and logistics organiser Anna Kenny said after the second Dunedin meeting.

The Otago Daily Times understands there may be up to 15 redundancies from among the 90 Strathallan St staff. However, Ms Kenny declined to confirm that figure, which was reported by one staff member.

"Our priority is the retention and protection of jobs and job numbers. If there were any cuts we would look at redeployment [within NZ Post], retraining or relocation," said Ms Kenny, whose union is the largest within NZ Post, representing about 4000 staff.

A leaked confidential briefing between NZ Post and unions more than a fortnight ago described the decline of 30 million postal items as "unprecedented" and job losses would be "unavoidable".

A meeting was also held in Waikato yesterday, with more scheduled this week at the remaining mail centres in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington and Christchurch.

Ms Kenny said meetings, consultations, circumstances and timeframes would vary between each of the "very different" mail centres and she could not say if there was a deadline for a decision.

• Aiden Engineering, in Kaikorai Valley, Dunedin, has been placed in voluntary liquidation with the loss of five jobs.

Aiden Engineering carried out general engineering and machining work, Iain Nellies, of Insolvency Management Ltd, is assessing Aiden's assets for sale and said yesterday the company closed its doors 13 days ago after 50% shareholder Ralph Ashenhurst placed the company in liquidation.

Mr Nellies said the extent of the 10-year-old company's solvency and any debt to banks or IRD were yet to be determined.

The liquidators first report was several weeks away.



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