Meeting organised to support Macraes Goldfield workers

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A meeting for Macraes workers made redundant will outline what support is available for them, Amalgamated Workers Union secretary Calvin Fisher says.

The meeting, to be held on Friday at 10.30am in the council building at Waikouaiti, offered everyone a chance to get together, seek advice about what to do next, work on their resumes and more.

Employment brokers, Work and Income and Inland Revenue would be at the meeting to speak with the workers and offer support.

Mr Fisher said the process was complex and, with OceanaGold planning to bus people in from all over the area, he expected many of the redundant workers would attend and seek advice.

He was hopeful there would be future employment options for the workers.

OceanaGold senior financial analyst Nova Young said the company would have a presence at the meeting to support the redundant workers and their families.

“OceanaGold is providing support to the affected workers,” he said.

“Representatives of OceanaGold will be in attendance at this gathering, in addition to support agencies to provide assistance and advice.”

A Work and Income spokesperson said they would be attending the meeting on Friday to support the workers.

“Several of our staff, including case managers and labour market specialists, will provide information and advice on assessing skill sets, job applications and interviews, and a range of other topics.

“We will also be promoting vacancies that the local Work and Income site holds for job seekers.

“This is an opportunity for us to present an informal first point-of-contact for Macraes Goldfield employees.

“If needed, we will be able to make appointments for individuals to see a case manager at their local site.”

Mr Fisher said redundancies at Macraes Mine were confirmed by OceanaGold last Thursday and Friday.

Staff were bussed in, spoken to by the site manager and pit manager and then those made redundant were bussed off site, he said.

More than 100 workers were removed from the site, including contractors and employees, Mr Fisher said.

“I think the structure of the crews going forward in the open cast operation surprised a good number of those losing their jobs and those staying for that matter”.

The redundancies follow OceanaGold seeking to reduce staff levels at the mine due to the low price of gold.

OceanaGold indicated to media redundancies would impact about a quarter of the 560 full-time staff and contractors they employed.

By DAVID DE LOREAN