It came as a crushing blow three months ago as more than three dozen Bay workers were told they would lose their jobs. Three months on, many from Invensys at Mount Maunganui are now looking ahead and as a special community service, the Bay of Plenty Times offered to feature resume details and photographs of those needing work. All they need is your help
By LESLEY STANILAND
It's crunch time for dozens of workers at Invensys Appliance Controls Mount Maunganui branch.
Next Friday is D-day for 15 workers - including one who has worked for the company for 27 years - as the company winds down its operations in the Bay of Plenty and concentrates the business in China.
In three weeks, on October 22, another two dozen will go, leaving the previously bustling company with just a few maintenance engineers and toolmakers to carry on as a design centre for Invensys.
The hopelessness of knowing that the work they've been doing can be performed up to 18 times cheaper by someone in China has affected many of the workers here.
Some are philosophical about the situation while others aren't happy. But it's a situation they've come to accept as inevitable.
Some of those workers at Invensys have been lucky enough to have found new jobs, many of those manual work.
But for many their confidence in themselves and their ability to retain work has been badly shaken. Some of them didn't want to be featured in this article because they felt shame at being made redundant.
And who's to say it won't happen again? It's a dog-eat-dog world out there and as the New Zealand business scene becomes more and more competitive, many companies have already moved off-shore - to Fiji, the Philippines and other Asian countries - in search of cheaper outgoings and greater profits.
As more and more companies look to the cheaper resources, and as interest rates continue to escalate, it's likely the steady stream of manufacturing businesses heading to foreign climes could become a torrent.
Invensys is part of an England-based global group manufacturing electrical parts for ovens and stoves.
Plant manager Steve Galbraith said Australian companies were also being hit hard with many pulling the plug and moving to China and its source of considerably cheaper labour.
When staff were given the shock news of their pending redundancies in July there were tears, fears and anger - anger that in China, for the price of one Kiwi worker, 18 people can be employed to do the same work.
Announcing the news to staff the company's Asia Pacific manager John Douyere said the huge difference in costs meant the company had no option but to move to Asia to compete or the company would lose contracts.
"If we did not move we would have to shut down in nine months' time," he said then.
The Mount company last year cut costs in an attempt to save jobs but Mr Douyere said the cutbacks were too small to have much effect.
Invensys at the Mount earned $11 million a year for the company, making the electrical components mainly for Fisher & Paykel and Electrolux in Australasia.
While some of the employees have found alternative jobs to go to others are still contemplating their future.
Six of those leaving on October 1 have taken up a Bay of Plenty Times offer to publish their photos and details to help them find work. The Qantas Award-winning initiative was used last year when more than 100 people lost their jobs at Mount Maunganui Wood Processing.
Prospective employers can contact Tania Rickard at Invensys, 575 5025, if they are interested in interviewing any of the staff featured.
AGE: 50-plus, a factory assembler who has worked for Invensys for 18 years in total. She is single with no dependent children.
SKILLS: Knifehand, packer, strapper, farm worker - dairy and dry stock.
QUALIFICATIONS: First aid, assembly lines.
INTERESTS: Golf and social activities, enjoys interacting with other people.
SEEKING: Part or fulltime work preferably in the Mount area. Martha will consider any type of work, such as mail sorting and telephonist, so long as heavy lifting is not involved.
AGE: 32, single, a process worker with Invensys for about five years.
SKILLS: Process worker, bartender.
QUALIFICATIONS: Bartender's certificate.
SEEKING: Fulltime work in either Mount Maunganui or Tauranga. Willing to try any work and loves working with other people. Very capable and able to work unsupervised.
AGE: 23, is in a relationship, no children. An assembly worker for one year with Invensys.
SKILLS: NZ Post postie, Kmart checkout (three years), kiwifruit worker - maintenance and restoration of vines, one year. Efficient worker, motivated, eye for detail, mechanical aptitude.
QUALIFICATIONS: Sixth form certificate in English, journalism and maths; computer skills; Te Reo Rangatira; Bursary Te Reo Rangatira; Certificate in Japanese language; almost completed carpentry level 4 at polytech; peer support leader certificate; several awards particularly in sports when at Mount Maunganui College.
INTERESTS: Basketball, volleyball (and beach volleyball), Waka Ama.
SEEKING: Full or part-time work, Mount Maunganui or Tauranga. Willing to consider any type of work.
PERSONAL: Single, a production line worker with two-and-a-half years service with the company.
SKILLS: Quality assurance, stores, line assembly.
QUALIFICATIONS: Farm work; bar work; Victim Support; health and safety rep.
INTERESTS: Motor sports.
SEEKING: Fulltime work, Tauranga or Mount Maunganui, working with other people. Willing to consider any position within processing environment. Capable of working unsupervised.
AGE: 44, married with six children - 18-year-old and 15-year-old still at home. A manufacturing employee with eight years' service at Invensys.
SKILLS: Health and safety; relates well to others; a good team worker.
INTERESTS: Helping other people. Enjoys rugby, netball, softball; likes to keep fit.
SEEKING: Fulltime work, Mount or Tauranga, day or night but prefers night work; factory work but willing to try something new.
AGE: 28, manufacturing employee, who has worked for Invensys for eight-and-a-half years; engaged, no children.
SKILLS: Basic knowledge of computers, physically fit.
QUALIFICATIONS: Currently completing ICDL Computers; BOP Polytechnic Sport and Recreation Certificate; workplace first aid certificate.
INTERESTS: Enjoys outdoor activity, in particular plays soccer and runs.
SEEKING: Part or fulltime work, preferably in the Mount area. Will consider anything. Interested in being a postie or a storeperson.