Summit Wool Spinners has laid off 50 workers at its Oamaru carpet yarn spinning plant.
Both First Union and the EPMU have confirmed the company’s decision to axe 49.5 jobs after a period of consultation.
First Union’s textiles secretary Paul Watson says that while he’s glad a full closure of the plant isn’t on the cards, the redundancies will send ripples throughout North Otago.
"The redundancies at Summit are indicative of the problems facing the manufacturing sector. We are constantly hearing from export firms who are struggling to compete and find markets in the current global economic downturn.
"Our high currency is punishing exporters. Our union is dealing with redundancies in both the textiles and wood industries, yet there is no support from government to address the fundamentals of our monetary policy settings," Watson says.
Summit Wool Spinners supplies carpet and rug yarn for both local and international markets.
It’s owned entirely by Japanese company Sumitomo Corporation.