Downturn for Farra triggers cut to staffing

Possibly up to six staff at Farra Engineering's fabrication division in Dunedin could lose their jobs, with a downturn in orders.

Farra chief executive John Whitaker confirmed, when contacted yesterday, that consultation was under way at the fabrication division, and he was ''hopeful'' the final number made redundant would be fewer than the six suggested.

''Some contracts we had expected have been slow to come through and have taken longer to be finalised,'' Mr Whitaker said.

''General trading conditions are still very difficult.''

Farra, which at present employs 120 staff, exports niche-market engineering products around the world, including to aluminium smelters. Its projects include hanging maintenance units for high-rise buildings.

Mr Whitaker said suggestions from fabrication staff were still being considered and a final decision was likely to be made by the end of next week.

He said the were ''no concerns at all'' that other divisions within the Farra group could be facing job cuts, given the present economic conditions.

''We do have some new work prospects coming through,'' he said.

In late-2009, Farra had to cut four jobs following the loss of a $1.8 million Australian contract.

During the preceding 15 months, staffing at Farra staff was cut by a total of 15 to fewer than 100, at the time.

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