Fonterra milk depot to close

Fonterra plans to close its Dunedin milk tanker depot in Donald St, with the potential loss of nine more jobs in the city.

The nine affected drivers have about 160 years of experience, some having worked there for about 30 years.

Dairy Workers Union southern organiser Murray Kerse said when approached depot staff had felt shock and uncertainty after learning of the company proposals.

The proposed closure was outlined to staff this week, and Fonterra was continuing to consult staff and the union over the moves.

Mr Kerse said the union was suggesting the depot remain open. However, if it did close, perhaps about August, the collective agreement provided for redeployment to other Fonterra sites or redundancy payments.

Staff wishing to relocate to work for Fonterra elsewhere could do so. Some drivers who had lived in Dunedin for a long time might prefer not to leave the city and could opt for redundancy payments, he said.

A Fonterra spokeswoman said the proposed changes were part of Fonterra's continuing efforts "to ensure we have the most efficient and cost-effective milk collection service for our farmers".

Over the past year, Fonterra had introduced a major new technology platform to the milk collection operations and a new management structure was in place.

The company, which employed more than 10,000 people throughout the country, was reviewing areas where some roles and functions were duplicated.

This was likely to affect about 50 positions nationally, including the nine Dunedin jobs.


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