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Closure Of Fletcher Building Kumeu Plan Confirmed

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, June 26 NZPA - The closure of the Fletcher Building particleboard plant in Kumeu, northwest of Auckland, was confirmed to workers today.

The closure had been signalled this month, with the loss of 41 jobs expected.

Stan Renwick of the National Distribution Union said workers were resigned to the closure when told of its confirmation at a meeting this morning.

He estimated about 45 jobs would be lost from the plant, including contractors.

Workers reacted with resignation, rather than anger.

"We had gone through a restructuring in October of last year and that resulted in the loss of about 50 percent of the workers on the production side.

"Undertakings had been given that they would probably be able to maintain the workforce at that level. Less than nine months later the site is closing down," he said.

Rodney District Council mayor Penny Webster said the closure was disappointing and would have ramifications for the wider community.

Fletcher Building said this month that financial returns from the plant, which made particleboard for the New Zealand market, had deteriorated due to reduced demand and overcapacity in the industry.

The proposed closure would not have an adverse effect on the company's future operating earnings, Fletcher said.

Production of particleboard would continue at its Taupo plant, and customers would not be affected.

Fletcher Building is also closing its medium density fibreboard (MDF) plant in Welshpool in Perth, Australia, with the loss of 114 jobs.

The company announced the closure today. It has decided to consoldiate MDF manufacturing at its larger and more modern plant in Gympie.

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