15 Mar 2011

220 jobs go with Christchurch factory closure

7:49 pm on 15 March 2011

Textile workers being made redundant at a Christchurch factory say they are gutted at the news.

Godfrey Hirst announced on Tuesday it is closing its subsidiary Canterbury Spinners plant at Bromley, with the loss of 195 jobs.

Godfrey Hirst says the Christchurch plant has been assessed by insurers and engineers, who say it would cost tens of millions of dollars to fix.

General manager Tania Pauling says the extensive damage to the plant and to equipment left them with no choice but to close.

Twenty-five workers have taken up the option of relocating to one of the company's North Island facilities.

Some of the redundant workers say they will leave Christchurch altogether, and their futures are uncertain.

The National Distribution Union says not only has the plant been destroyed by the earthquake, but now the workers' future incomes have also been destroyed.

It says the redundancy agreement negotiated with the company is better than would have applied in normal circumstances.

The union says many of the workers live in the devastated eastern suburbs, so are already struggling with uncertainty about the future of their homes.