Monday 30th May 2011 1 Comment
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Trans-Tasman food company Heinz-Wattie's says job cuts in Australia underpinning a transfer of some manufacturing to New Zealand will start today.
Wattie's site manager at Wagga Wagga in New South Wales said today that he wants to cut 38 jobs there though voluntary redundancies.
The site manager, Phil McVeigh, told the ABC his plant would continue producing corned meat, but production of canned meals is being moved to Hastings.
The switchover will take effect in about six months, but decision time for the Wagga plant's 113 workers began today.
"We'll be starting with voluntary redundancy and we'll be asking people to have a good think about that and then that will tell us exactly how many jobs we're looking at following that," he said.
Wattie's will axe the jobs of about 340 staff in Australia, after a review of manufacturing facilities, with a plant at Girgarre in northern Victoria shutting down altogether with the loss of 146 jobs, and another 160 jobs being lost at its Golden Circle plant in Brisbane.
McVeigh said from today, staff will be asked about their interest in voluntary redundancy, and counselling and job support will be on offer over the next six months until the canned meal production line closes.
"We believe that following this restructure we will be competitive and we will continue making corned beef at this site," he said.
Wattie's Hastings plant was also expected to pick up new work in sauces, and canning beetroot.
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