State-owned New Zealand Post has announced it will be axing more jobs in the coming months as it struggles to keep operations alive and well.
"I don't have an (exact) date for that but it's likely to be in the coming months," Mark Yeoman, NZ Post's chief financial officer, said.
On Wednesday, the firm closed its call center at Te Puni, in Petone. A total of 44 jobs were effectively slashed, while up to 70 "mainly in Wellington" will go in the finance team.
NZ Post had advised the movement as early as 2013 that some 120 mail processing jobs would have to go at Te Puni, as the company works to reduce mail processing centers from six to three.
"There's no problem with the call center. The reality is that we announced last year that the mail centre would be closing and moving up to Palmerston North. Last month we put the site up for sale, so the decision was taken to consolidate the call centre into our two other call centres," Yeoman said.
The consolidation will then see the creation of 30 new positions as call centers are expanded in Auckland and Christchurch in June. Wellington staff affected by the job cuts would be offered relocation.
Joe Gallagher, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union spokesman, said relocating to Auckland or Christchurch would be expensive for many staff at Petone.
"The call center has been functioning quite well and I guess people obviously wrongly assumed they would relocate. But that has proven not to be the case today - the work has been relocated."
"This is a pre-cursor. We're working with [NZ] Post, so one issue at a time, but they've sent a clear signal that we're soon going to be talking to them about retail. Basically, they're contracting out a lot of their shops, and a lot of people are going to lose jobs out of the retail network," Gallagher noted.