|Michael Wood with Faulkner Collins worker and EPMU delegate Sue Turnbull|
“The over-arching imperative of all parties involved in the Faulkner Collins relocation dispute must be the preservation of local jobs. At a time of economic recession it would be unconscionable for 50 local people to be put on the dole queue as a result of the actions of NZ Transport Agency”, says Roskill Community Voice member of the Puketapapa Local Board Michael Wood.
“In our community of Mt Roskill we simply cannot afford for this many people, and their families, to be thrown on the economic scrap-heap because of this issue. The employees in this business are often the main bread winners in their family, and with unemployment high they will face an uncertain future without these jobs. The effect of the business going under would be devastating for them”, continues Julie Fairey, another Roskill Community Voice member of the Board.
“The property is being acquired by NZTA under the Public Works Act. We believe that this places an onus on the NZTA to behave in a way that is of assistance, rather than making demands and threatening jobs. While there are commercial matters to be discussed between the parties, we believe that it would be utterly unacceptable for the actions of a public body to result in the closure of the business and the loss of fifty jobs”, continues Wood.
“This is a very rough time for these workers and their families, and we hope the morning tea we supplied today will have brightened their day a little. We pledge to do what we can to assist in ensuring that an outcome is reached that preserves their positions. We will also be consulting with our fellow Local Board members to see if there are steps we can take to help resolve the situation”, continues Fairey.
“We urge all of the parties to work out a solution that keeps the business and jobs intact. The actions of a state agency should not lead to a loss of jobs and the government should step in if needs be”, concludes Wood.