Crisis not threatening Juken staff: union

Wairarapa mill workers have so far escaped a market slump that will swallow 70 timber industry jobs in Rotorua and Tokoroa before Christmas, says union organiser Ron Angel.

Carter Holt Harvey is cutting 18 workers at its Tokoroa plywood plant and more than 50 workers including contractors at its Rotorua Profiles plant before Christmas, staff were told on Monday.

The company blamed a transtasman trade decline and a lack of new builds in New Zealand for the redundancies.

The shift in demand also has been blamed for the imminent loss of another 100 jobs at the Norske Skog paper mill in Kawerau in January.

Mr Angel, timber industry organiser for the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), was unaware of any related threat posed to workers at the Juken New Zealand mill in Masterton, despite the "crisis that will probably affect all the players" in the New Zealand industry.

He said there were 40 EPMU members at the Masterton mill, about 100 belonged to another union and 100 workers were non-union.

Paul Jordan, manager of the Masterton JNL mill, could not be reached for comment.

 - By Nathan Crombie of the Wairarapa Times-Age

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