The $31 million per year operation was tipped for closure on April 30, but staff and management have been involved in discussions about possible alternatives.Management said continuing competitive pressure from other countries with lower cost structures and the recent appreciation of the New Zealand dollar have made closure inevitable.The 130 Taita Pilkington Automotive plant employees were told Monday and plans are now underway to help all employees find alternative employment.
"The Company is committed to assisting all our employees in finding alternative employment. We will work closely with WINZ and various job search agencies, as well as setting up our own job search bureau dedicated to finding suitable jobs for all our employees," Pilkington Automotive General Manager Timo Rautarinta said.
Ninety per cent of the British-owned plant's output was sold at export.
Its virtually the end of the automotive industry which powered the Hutt Valley for decades, said the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union's Wellington regional secretary, Steve Milne when the news was first announced last month.
The Pilkington manufacturing plant in Aucklands Mt Wellington will not be affected by the closure.