Plastic card manufacturer ABCorp has informed workers of their intention to close their plastic card manufacturing plant in Christchurch by as early as the end of this month.

About 50 workers look set to lose their jobs after the company has proposed moving operations to Australia. Joe Gallagher, E tū spokesperson, says the workers feel shocked by the news. He says, “It really came out of the blue for them and the short consultation period makes us think that the company’s mind is made up.

“Most people will have cards in their wallet that were made at this site. They produce bank cards, ID cards, loyalty cards and a lot more. It’s a real shame that these good kiwi-made products are just the next product to have production moved off-shore.”

He adds that, while the company may offer employment at other sites, it presents an unrealistic proposal for most workers. He says, “Families can’t just up and move to New South Wales. The company has indicated that they may help people find other jobs – we expect them to take the commitment very seriously.”

Gallagher believes that these and other types of jobs could be saved by the Government taking a better look at local procurement, particularly as the closure comes after the company has lost a number of local contracts.

He adds, “Our new Government has made a strong commitment to New Zealand workers and their families. We’d like to see a Government-led commitment to local procurement in manufacturing and in fact, across all industries.”

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