Coronavirus, Carter Holt Harvey Whangārei mill closure ‘could not be worse’ for business

Employees at Carter Holt Harvey’s Whangārei mill are “upset” with the corporate’s announcement confirming the mill’s closure, union representatives say.

On Monday, CHH Timber chief government Clayton Harris confirmed a ultimate resolution had been made to shut the mill, with the lack of 111 jobs, after session started in January.

The closure was disappointing and a “double-whammy” for the business which is already below stress from coronavirus, mentioned Northern Amalgamated Employees Union secretary Maurice Davis.

Timber is piling up at Gisborne Port, after exports to China stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Phil Yeo/Getty Photos

Timber is piling up at Gisborne Port, after exports to China stopped as a result of coronavirus outbreak.

Log exports to China have slowed and forestry employees across the nation have downed tools, attributable to fears of coronavirus spreading.

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“It could not be worse: a possible pandemic whereas individuals are dropping their jobs.”

The mill’s closure would influence 111 jobs, plus as much as 40 sub-contractors, Davis mentioned.

However he had religion the employees, who had much-needed abilities, would be capable to discover new jobs.

“There’s extremely expert folks that drive some massive equipment round vegetation, in order that they’re succesful – that saves corporations having to go off-shore to search for labour,” Davis mentioned.

Carter Holt Harvey's Whangārei mill closure will mean the loss of 111 jobs, plus contracting work (file photo).


Carter Holt Harvey’s Whangārei mill closure will imply the lack of 111 jobs, plus contracting work (file picture).

“The plant operators have licences to function heavy equipment – for the time being you possibly can’t get them for love nor cash.”

Alternatives in Northland included highway upkeep, development and different manufacturing, he mentioned.

The KiwiRail upgrade of the Northland rail line, offering 200 additional jobs, might additionally present work.

Concern about coronavirus has everyone on heightened alert, while workers in the logging industry have downed tools over fears it could spread.


Concern about coronavirus has everybody on heightened alert, whereas employees within the logging business have downed instruments over fears it might unfold.

Davis mentioned the union was working onerous to search out work alternatives for all the staff, which can imply having to journey to north Auckland.

Carter Holt Harvey would additionally pay employees a “cheap” redundancy, as per their collective settlement, he mentioned.

Harris mentioned the mill would proceed to function till early April, with workers ending progressively over a number of weeks.

“The choice has been made reluctantly and we all know this can be a demanding and tough time for everybody concerned with the mill.”

Workers can be given the help they want, with the corporate working intently with the union and workers, he mentioned.