665 jobs lost since Jobs Summit

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, March 6th, 2009 - 28 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you believe the Government’s spin, protecting jobs in this recession is their number one priority. They even held a big fancy Jobs Summit to convince us they had it under control. But while that’s all very nice, I’m more interested in concrete actions that keep people in jobs. And right now I’m not seeing any.

Let’s have a look at some numbers. In the one week since the Jobs Summit we’ve seen jobs lost at the following firms:

Sealord – 180 jobs lost
Irwin Industrial Tool Co – 105 jobs lost
Nelson Pine – 60 jobs lost
Pacific Brands – 90 jobs lost
Tertiary Education Commission – 70 jobs lost
Gunns Veneer – 20 jobs lost
GE Money – 70 jobs lost
CWF Hamilton – 30 jobs lost
Transfield – 20 jobs lost
CI Munro – 20 jobs lost

So, that’s at least 665 jobs lost since the summit, that we know about, and not counting lost casual work or the ones, twos and threes being laid off on a daily basis. Of course, it would be foolish to expect the Government to save all these jobs.

But when the Prime Minister’s response to 180 Sealord workers losing their jobs and the rest being threatened with a $70 pay cut is to shrug his shoulders and say “you’ll always get quite a lot of movement in the labour market”, there is something seriously wrong.

When his Minister of Employment refuses to take action on hundreds of job losses and says her job is simply to send working families to the dole queue, there is something seriously wrong.

And when the PM and his Broadcasting Minister deliberately induce job losses at TVNZ by demanding a dividend when the company is already facing a $25 million shortfall due to the recession, well, that’s just fucked.

These aren’t just figures, they’re real people with families to feed and mortgages to pay, and all our Government can do is sit on its hands and watch them lose their jobs. What a disgrace.

28 comments on “665 jobs lost since Jobs Summit”

  1. Janet 1

    You haven’t counted those in the community and voluntary sector – probably already in three figures across the sector.

    And the public service job cuts have hardly begun.

    There are more sinister things going on behind getting rid of ethics related groups like the bio-ethics council. There might only be a few people losing their jobs here but there is an agenda to slowly dismantle the whole ethics/consultative/partnership side of government. I expect the Health ones to get the chop next.

  2. Monty 2

    We are in a major worldwide recession – the fact is there are going to be massive job-losses throughout NZ. Do you think the losses are the result of National being in Government for a bare three months, or the result of a world wide recession where in order to survive all businesses are looking at ways to become even more efficient or even save the company from bankruptcy.

    The jobs summit has had positive feebback from those attending. But I find it amazing that all the left can do is whine that they were not invited and that 600 odd jobs have been lost in the past week.

    Maybe if Labour had spent time building capacity in industry during their time in government instead of undermining the foundations for a solid economy, then we would not be so hard hit during the current recession.

    And on top of the economic crisis that is now upon us, National needs to work out ways to prop up a rail system that is going to cost way more than ever predicted and ACC where Cullen lied and misrepresented their financial position.

  3. Tigger 3

    Yep, the public service is yet to be gutted.

    “There will be redundancies.”
    Direct quote by Bill English to a group of public sector CEOs in referencing job losses among their staffs.

  4. IrishBill 4

    Maybe if Labour had spent time building capacity in industry during their time in government

    Interfere in the market you mean? I suppose they could have. Perhaps an R&D fund or R&D tax credits? Or a reduction of company tax rates?

  5. Stretching a bit there aren’t you?

    Your blaming Key for those job losses?

    • Tane 5.1

      Brett, read the post again.

      “Of course, it would be foolish to expect the Government to save all these jobs.”

      He can’t help the economic conditions. He can help with his response.

  6. Santi 6

    Never ending wailing and moaning and The Standard. What’s wrong with you guys? having recovered yet from the November loss?

    The economy is in bad shape (thanks Labour Party for squandering nine years of economic prosperity), so these and many more job losses are the result. Unfortunate, but true.

  7. the sprout 7

    “having recovered yet from the November loss”

    Correct Santi, we have recovered from November.

    Now it’s on with the job of being an effective Opposition. Understandable you may not realise that, unlike National who remained in a crumpled deflated heap for years after Shipley’s ignominious defeat, you don’t have to wait to get started being a real Opposition – you can do it from the day after the last election. Which is what Labour has done.

    Are you worried your paper tiger government can’t withstand criticism? I guess you should be really.

    • Monty 7.1

      The left have not yet recovered from the election defeat – they have a Phil-in leader who is rating 3.7%, they clutch at straws in order to get in their daily Whinge, and in question time they are looking very morbid and dejected.

      Labour are incapable of being an effective opposition at the present time and the fact that despite the gloom in the economy the Nats are running at 60% in the TV3 poll.

      National is exposing the lies and deceit that became the hallmark of the Labour government including (but not limited to NZ Rail, ACC, Housing, and the state of the economy). Labour will be lucky to score 22% in the 2011 election. People will remember how Labour squandered the opportunities.

      The only criticsm at present is correctly being aimed at Labour and will continue to be for many years yet.

  8. Tane 8

    Never ending wailing and moaning and The Standard. What?s wrong with you guys? having recovered yet from the November loss?

    This isn’t a Labour/National thing, I’ve already expressed how inept I think Labour’s response to the crisis has been.

    But people are losing their jobs, Santi. It’s not very nice stuff, and I’d like a government that actually did something about it. If you call that “wailing and moaning” then all power to you mate, but all it does is show just how out of touch you are with ordinary New Zealanders.

    • Tigger 8.1

      Agreed Tane. I mean, Rome is burnings guys, put down the fiddle!

    • Chess Player 8.2

      And so, Tane, what are you going to do about it?

      You cannot just simply shrug your shoulders and say “like a government that actually did something about it’.

      What are you, Tane, actually going to do about it?

      Perhaps you could, say, start a business, and employ some people?

  9. Stan 9

    Labour and the Unions have to wake up in this Century.
    The standard has gone barking mad if it is blaming job losses on Key!.
    Voluntary unionism in New Zealand has seen that the great majority of workers dont want compulsary unionism.They simply havent joined a union. The Unions have lost their influence in the market place. New labour laws enable small business people to employ someone without the fear of drawn out legal costs if that person proves to be unreliable,lazy or dishonest.
    The Labour Party is now in tatters, rejected by voters, bereft of any talent or experience it is drifting aimlessly in circles whilst Fill in Goff,King and that other fellah from the New Lynn, West Auckland electorate are trying to rig up some emergency steering.
    All this bought about by Helens Autocratic stranglehold on the leadership,Cullens tax dogma and no leadership succession plan.

    • Tane 9.1

      Again, learn to read. The Govt can’t help the economic conditions. It can help with its response.

    • Godard 9.2

      You can blame job losses on the government. Before the end of last year Chief Executives were asked to cut 15 – 20% of their budgets. Remember that December was looking a lot more optimistic than it is now, and a 20% budget cut is massive, within the public or private sector.

      • Tane 9.2.1

        Oh, definitely the public service jobs and TVNZ. I’m not sure I blame them directly for, say, Pacific Brands though.

  10. Ianmac 10

    It is curious how Santi and others come here to accuse the Left of not accepting that Labour lost. I haven’t heard anyone indicate that. But I certainly get sick of the “Cullen lied” “squandering nine years of economic prosperity” etc. It is as though they have something to fear???

    By the way the possible Repeal of Seabed and Foreshore has a connection with this in this mornings Press :
    “Ngai Tahu is charging commercial eel fishermen for the use of Lake Ellesmere a decade after the Canterbury lakebed was returned to the tribe as part of its treaty settlement.”

  11. Fernando 11

    Widespread lack of confidence is one of the keys to turning a recession into a depression. Wielding the axe at over-staffed government departments, and dogmatically restructuring institutions and repealing laws, is inconsistent with restoring economic confidence in testing times. Remember, the brake becomes the accelerator in times like these. Key needs to rise above National Party dogma (largely outdated in terms of modern conservative thinking in any event) and do what’s right for the country.

  12. vto 12

    Tane, perhaps you have a point. Or perhaps Key is being realistic in that there really is virtually nothing the govt can do to stop jobs being lost. F..k there is some pain out here at the moment. I know people having breakdowns and the works. It f..ks me off that people’s lives can be so traumatised by this sort of thing. Life can be cruel.

    But as your post intimated the other day… “what is to be done?”

    I aint see no circuit-breaker yet.

  13. Snail 13

    The given reported reason for why Labour had not been invited to the Job summat was “they have nothing to give”..

    Would it be too cynical of me to suggest that the persona making that statement knew that the giving was due post-JS..?

  14. Julie 14

    Did anyone else hear Jonathan Coleman on Morning Report today talking about the job losses at Immigration and TVNZ? He seemed totally heartless, repeating that the TVNZ stuff was out of the Govt’s hands and that they should still be delivering a dividend of 9% (which is huge in today’s market, surely?). I was quite stunned at how he constantly avoided connecting the actions of the Govt and the job losses, it was like it wasn’t actual people losing their jobs but robots or something. Compassion FAIL.

  15. vinsin 15

    Yes TVNZ is a mess, there were three jobs that they had advertised on seek not so long ago; however in the space of three weeks all those jobs are now placed on hold or outright gone and to quote the actual letter, “As you will be aware, the current economic downturn is impacting on New Zealand businesses, including TVNZ. We are in the process of reviewing our business costs, and while we undergo this process we are putting the recruitment of the position that you have applied for on hold. I cannot say when or if this situation will change.”

  16. dave 16

    Some of the jobs arent ” lost” yet – because people are still working some of those jobs.

  17. Snail 17

    I’ve gotten called out.. but I wanted to add a sort of silver lining to this blog before doing that…

    reports are coming in from Tyler Cowen and Michael Mandel about the biggest loss of productivity being bogus financials. Aussie econ, John Quiggin buys this.. which is to say as it extends from the USA to Australia.. given how most kiwi banks are aussie-owned I’m wondering whether there is an acceptance here of such fragility passing off into lets’ say manufacturing, processing etc. Jobs.. and losses thereof factoring for unscrupulous operators to conceal their own ‘financial’ deficiencies..

    Political people could surely put resources to work on this ‘silver lining’ lede..humn. If only to out the knowledge from which all shall benefit..

    ps: there’s cuban jazz tomorrow morning, I’m told.. and that would be worth a listen.. to say the least…

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Most people (i.e. non-partisan voters) don’t expect the government to save all these jobs in a recession. But they do expect …

    A government that wins an election by promising a “fresh start” and a “brighter future” and so on, will have … Ideas. Plans. Something substantial. Not just a mish-mash of scraps re-heated and re-arrranged on the plate.

    And a leader who tells us he is “ambitious for New Zealand” will have a vision to match that ambition and be able to articulate it. We all know we need to export, to innovate, and to create new jobs. So where is the leadership? The Jobs Summit … was that it?

    It is increasingly apparent that John Key was ambitious to become Prime Minister. And that’s about the limit of his vision.

  19. Matt 19

    I think what is clear from this is that the main political parties and their backers (ie, attendees of last weeks job summit) just don’t care about workers, nor their families, nor their communities.

    In the case of Irwin Industrial Tools, the loss of these 105 positions will be a severe–if not outright fatal–blow to the community of Wellsford itself! And what is National OR Labour doing about it? NOTHING!!

    We need to show solidarity with the people of places like Wellsford, not the bankers in parliment, and resist these actions. An occupation should be staged immediately, so as to send a clear message to the do-nothing ruling class: workers will not tolerate attacks of this magnitude, and we won’t pay for your crisis!

    Fight back!

  20. Pat 20

    Tane, can you tell me how and where you got these job figures on the lay offs.

    Particularly the ones at Transfield. Though I am an employee, and a job delegate there, the fact that there have been 20 redundancies at Transfield is news to me.

    As you can probably appreciate, any information at al,l you can give me on these layoffs would be of great interest to me and my fellow workmates.

    Your swift reply is urgently awaited.

    Yours,
    Pat

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