23 Feb 2013

Transpacific to cut 200 jobs

6:13 pm on 23 February 2013

Waste management company Transpacific Industries will axe 200 jobs as it seeks to lower costs amid weakness in its manufacturing and industrial markets.

Affected staff will leave over the next two to three months as jobs are slashed across all parts of the business in Australia and New Zealand.

The company's New Zealand managing director Tom Nickels said the number of redundances in this country would be a lot less than 100, but he would not specify how many positions would go because employees were still being consulted.

A final decision will be announced on 11 March.

Company overextended - union

First Union says it's not surprised Transpacific Industries is cutting jobs.

The union's general secretary, Robert Reid, says Transpacific has been taking on debt by buying up other companies for the past few years.

"What we're finding when we go each year to try and negotiate wage increases is, we're told that there's never enough money, that the company's doing badly.

"But the company ... is really over exerting itself, perhaps buying too many other companies."

Mr Reid says 200 of his union's members work for Transpacific.

Series of job losses across country

On Friday, Telecom announced it would cut hundreds of jobs in the coming months but would not give an exact number or say where they'll come from.

That comes just weeks after job losses were announced at Mainzeal, Summit Wool Spinners and Contact Energy.

Transpacific chief executive Kevin Campbell said the decision to cull the workforce followed a recent review of the company's organisational structure, AAP reports.

Mr Campbell said the number of management layers in the business was being cut from an average of nine to an average of six.

Transpacific is accelerating its cost-cutting programme, advising the market on Friday it planned to take out $A50 million of costs over the next three financial years to 2014/15.

This was above previous market guidance of $40 million of savings over the same period.

Mr Campbell said the company, like a lot of other firms, had been "suffering from the malaise of the lack of infrastructure projects and general downturn in manufacturing and industrial markets".

He said Transpacific's waste management businesses had been hurt by a drop-off in volumes in landfill and a product mix change in the industrial liquids market that has resulted in lower margins.

Australia announces hundreds of job cuts in a day

Earlier in the week three major Australian companies announced nearly 1200 job cuts between them on just one day, as weak earnings force businesses to focus on driving down costs and adapt to changing markets.

Telstra said on Thursday it would cut 648 jobs from its struggling Sensis business - a division that has suffered massive revenue falls as demand for its key White Pages and Yellow Pages directories plummets.

Gas and electricity player Origin Energy announced it will cut an additional 350 jobs, in addition to 500 already flagged, during 2013 as it faces falling profits.

And 200 workers will be sacked from Iluka, a miner of mineral sands used in high-tech metals and paint pigments, after weak market conditions forced a 33% slide in full year profit.