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The Dunedin company that, in October, won the Deloittes award as the fastest-growing employer in the country, for the third time, is shedding staff.
The Otago Daily Times has been told between 40 and 45 of Southern Hospitality's 200 employees across the country have been made redundant since August.
Company founder Roger Fewtrell declined to comment yesterday.
A former employee, who was made redundant, said 15 people were made redundant in August, 15 in September and between 11 and 15 on Tuesday.
Southern Hospitality is on the Deloitte Fast 50 index of companies as the country's fastest-growing retail/consumer products business and in October it was again judged the country's fastest-growing employer.
A Deloittes spokesman said yesterday the award was for the period to March 31, 2008.
Southern Hospitality was founded in 1989 and sells a wide range of hospitality-related products and services, including hotel and motel supplies, "chefware", glassware, tableware and cleaning equipment.
The company's head office is in Dunedin, with branches in Whangarei, Auckland, Albany, Hamilton, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Queenstown.
In July, the company opened a new Invercargill shop.
The National Distribution Union and the Service and Food Workers Union told the ODT it was not involved, and it was believed the company's staff were not union members.