EasySteel job cuts undecided

No decisions have been made about potential job losses at a Dunedin steel distributor, an embattled construction company says.

Staff at EasySteel, a subsidiary of Fletcher Building, were notified of a proposed restructuring this week.

In February, the parent company recorded a $120 million net loss after tax in its interim results, both the chief executive Ross Taylor and board chairman Bruce Hassall stepped down.

EasySteel has southern branches in Dunedin and Invercargill with FIRST Union And E Tu representing about 50 workers across the country.

FIRST Union organiser Justin Wallace said the proposal was the result of years of top-down mismanagement from Fletcher and was a tragedy "entirely of their own making".

Profit had been extracted from the business to meet "huge" executive salaries, which workers were now paying for with their jobs.

"Workers are the ones bearing the cost of decades of utter greed from upper management," Mr Wallace said.

"The writing has been on the wall for a while now and rumours have been circulating among staff due to EasySteel’s notably austere and threadbare operations in recent times."

Mr Wallace said the restructuring would result in job losses in EasySteel operations across the country, as well as reductions in administration, centralisation of some inventory, production and distribution functions.

If it went ahead, there would be flow-on effects to the rest of Fletcher Building’s subsidiaries and the wider building industry.

EasySteel was at risk of being the first of many Fletcher brands to begin cost-cutting, he said.

"Workers should not be paying for executives’ greed."

Consultation on the proposal will conclude on Friday.

A Fletcher Building spokeswoman said no decisions had been made and its priority was to work with those potentially impacted by the process.

She did not say how many jobs were expected to be cut in Dunedin.

EasySteel South Dunedin declined to comment.