APN News and Media is to close one of its regional New Zealand printing plants with the loss on 21 jobs, a union says.
The media company is closing its Whanganui printing plant, on the North Island, and consolidating its work in Hawke’s Bay, due to a downturn in the printing industry, the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) says.
The closure, set to happen on December 20, means 13 full and part-time workers will lose their jobs, along with eight casual staff.
EPMU print and media industry organiser Paul Tolich says the closure has been flagged for some time.
“Our members aren’t surprised by this, but it’s always sad to see jobs being lost, especially when there isn’t a lot of work out there, especially in the regions,” he said.
Mr Tolich said he understood APN’s reasoning but bemoaned what he said was a lack of government action to support regional employment.
“We’ve been calling for a national jobs strategy for over a year, and nothing has been done to save Kiwi jobs.”
Prime Minister John Key earlier this week said that any job losses were unfortunate but that 15 of New Zealand’s 16 regions had an economic growth rate higher than Auckland’s.