Summit Wool considers 9-day fortnight

Oamaru's Summit Wool Spinners is considering the Government's nine-day working fortnight scheme as an option to minimise job losses.

The company, which on Monday announced the planned redundancies of up to 80 staff, also said it was receiving inquiries about voluntary redundancies from its 315 employees.

The company and two unions were examining the Government's nine-day fortnight scheme to see if it was feasible, Summit director Ricky Hammond-Tooke said.

"The issues are not as straightforward as they might seem, and there are risks involved which each side needs to carefully assess," Mr Hammond-Tooke said.

"This assessment might push out the consultation and decision time, but we all think it's important to be well-informed."

Fisher & Paykel Appliances said yesterday it is introducing a 35-hour working week for six months in a bid to save about 60 jobs.

The extra pay would be made up from the government scheme, a company contribution, and 1.5 hours' paid leave. Employees would attend a company-funded in-house training programme to increase their skills for 3.5 hours each fortnight.

Summit was trying to encourage voluntary redundancies by offering an extra 10 percent payment on the gross redundancy payment.

"The number of employees who take voluntary redundancy is an important first step in the process of making decisions about the eventual number of job redundancies," Mr Hammond-Tooke said.

The final number of voluntary redundancies was expected to be confirmed next week.

Last November, shifts were reduced from 12 hours to 10 hours in response to reduced demand.

The company supplies yarn to carpet and rug-makers in New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia and the United States.


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