There is sadness among workers as Fonterra cuts 30 jobs from its Hamilton packaging facility Canpac.
The proposal to outsource the print and press operations were presented in mid-April, with low milk prices and dairy downturn to blame.
Union E tu has 21 of its members affected by the cut and national Fonterra advocate Fiona McQueen said there was a feeling of great sadness.
“These workers have worked together for a long time, and they’ve worked really hard,” she said.
McQueen said there will be redeployment options but there would likely not be any skilled jobs for metal decorators anywhere in New Zealand.
The union will know more about the worker’s options after future talks held with Canpac next week.
Plant E tu delegate Rachel Paul said the general mood was “like the grief cycle” where some people were “really angry, some are in denial and some are resigned and looking ahead”.
Fonterra New Zealand director of manufacturing Mark Leslie said the decision to cut jobs came from reducing demand on press and print operations and cost efficiencies of outsourcing.
With low milk prices, Leslie said it was “important we consider all alternatives that will drive cash back to our farmers.”
“We have worked closely with this group throughout the consultation period and have listened to all views to ensure their preferences could be met -be it a new role at Fonterra or the option to take redundancy should that be their preference,” he said.