The pending closure of the Exide Technologies in Petone with the loss of 40 jobs is a set-back for the region, says the EPMU, the union representing workers at the company.
Exide announced this afternoon that it would close its battery recycling plant at the end of March. The company cited a recent Court of Appeal decision to allow the continued unlimited export of used lead-acid batteries, and the impact on raw product available for processing, as the reason for the closure.
"It's a sad day for our members who now face a very uncertain future trying to get new jobs in the region," says EPMU organiser Kim Ellis. "There are a lot of families who'll be finding it tough tonight."
The EPMU has nearly 30 members at the Petone company. The workers are entitled to redundancy pay as part of their collective employment agreement.
Ms Ellis says the EPMU has organised for representatives from Work and Income and Inland Revenue to be on site next week to help Exide staff with their entitlements.