Manukau Courier : December 3rd 2010
www.manukaucourier.co.nz Friday, December 3, 2010 150 printing jobs lost Closed: A bleak Christmas is looming for 150 staff who lost their jobs after APN Print closed its Manukau plant on Wednesday. Photo: SIMON WATTS By KAREN MANGNALL Benchmark: PMP director Peter Browne says the company's new $19.5 million Wiri plant will be "world-class". AROUND 150 people face a jobless Christmas and a bleak future after a major south Auckland commercial printer closed for good on Wednesday. The printing plant in central Manukau has been closed by APN News and Media after several years of financial losses and a decision to outsource all its gloss printing. Chief operating officer Brian Hood says most of the plant s 150 staff are south Aucklanders and all have lost their jobs. The company announced the clos- ure in October and has been helping staff find other positions, he says. We ve facilitated the process where they can send CVs to our competitors, he says. Some of them will be picked up by PMP, some by Webstar, some transferred internally, some offered jobs in Australia by APN. The company threw staff a fare- well party on Wednesday, Mr Hood says. Given the circumstances it was a terrific day, a chance for everyone to celebrate the success we ve had in the past. People behaved very profession- ally and enjoyed themselves. But print union EPMU says the prospects of its 120 members at the Manukau plant finding other print- ing jobs are bleak. Unfortunately there aren t 120 jobs to go around, union organiser Louisa Jones says. It s a very difficult thing. A lot are retraining and starting in new industries. One of the ex-workers is becom- ing a graffiti remover, another a courier driver, she says. The closure is another setback for the printing industry after PMP s recent decision to close its Wark- worth plant in mid-2011 with the loss of 120 jobs. That means 270 jobs are being lost in and around Auckland in the print sector and more are likely to go as technology changes and more work moves to the internet. Not enough jobs are being created in the print sector to offset these latest losses, Ms Jones says. Webstar s new Auckland printing plant is due to open next year and will employ around 50 people. And PMP s new $19.5 million plant scheduled to open in Wiri next year is expected to provide 300 to 400 jobs -- around 160 of them for printers and binders. But PMP won t be picking up more than a handful of those made redundant by APN at Manukau, director Peter Browne says. Definitely not. In the main they will be people relocating from our existing sites. That includes PMP staff at their Plunket Ave printing plant, 120 from the Viaduct head office and those of the 120 laid off in Wark- worth who are needed and want to move south. So you get up to 300 fairly quickly. It won t be a significant level of opportunities for affected people at APN and at Warkworth. PMP has just signed a lease agreement for a 25,000 square metre warehouse in Wiri to become its head office, main printing plant, and magazine and catalogue distri- bution centre. The company is buying a $10m 48-page press from Mexico to replace quite a lot of the capacity PMP is removing from Warkworth. PMP is also bidding to buy $4m of APN s discarded printing gear. A Commerce Commission ruling on that is due before Christmas. The new Wiri plant will open progressively from February as the equipment arrives and existing operations are relocated. The plant is an indication that PMP will be in south Auckland for the long haul, Mr Browne says. It will be a world-class facility, a benchmark in the industry.
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