Shorter shifts proposed

Summit Wool Spinners may move to nine-hour shifts, starting from April 29, if a proposal presented to staff yesterday is accepted.

Oamaru's second-biggest employer, with 315 staff, has been forced to restructure after an unprecedented fall in orders.

Last November, shifts at the plant were reduced from 12 to 10 hours in response. Even so, production capacity far exceeded the level of orders.

Company spokesman Ricky Hammond-Tooke yesterday said the company had received more than 45 voluntary redundancies which had enabled it, with the assistance of the staff and unions, to look at ways to progress.

Summit and the unions presented a proposal to staff yesterday which would mean a move to nine-hour shifts, and employees agreeing to co-operate in terms of job flexibility and cross-manning of jobs. The proposal relied on Summit and the unions together securing the Job Support Subsidy for employees.

Summit was already in discussions with the Ministry of Social Development which were "progressing well" and the company had also indicated it was prepared to contribute towards the subsidy.

It was also proposed a committee, comprising management and union representatives, be established to manage any changes in specific roles.


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