Summit, unions present jobs-saving deal to Govt

Summit Wool Spinners and two unions have negotiated a nine-day fortnight arrangement, involving an employer wage top-up, which will save up to 57 jobs if an application made to the Government on Thursday is successful.

The company has been forced to restructure after an unprecedented fall in orders. Last week, it announced it might move to nine-hour shifts.

In a statement on Thursday, Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union lead organiser John Gardner said the wage top-up was a "critical" part of the deal.

"The EPMU and the NDU [National Distribution Union] have made it very clear from the outset that any nine-day fortnight arrangement must come with an employer wage top-up because workers simply can't afford to take another hit in the pocket. The company has been very good on this point and, as a result, we have a deal our members are very happy with," Mr Gardner said.

The unions were particularly pleased Summit management had backed a co-operative solution to the troubles the company was facing.

NDU president Robert Reid, who has been brokering the deal with the Government, was pleased to see so many jobs could be saved.

Summit spokesman Ricky Hammond-Tooke said if the Government supported the application, it would be a good outcome to have achieved "under the circumstances".


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