The France-based energy company, Schneider Electric, has announced plans to close its Christchurch, New Zealand, manufacturing facility.
The firm aims to relocate its operations to somewhere in the Asia-Pacific region, considering moving to its existing facility in Vietnam.
The company conducted a study in February regarding the site’s relocation, also considering moving operations to expand its Adelaide plant.
The Christchurch facility, which currently employs 50 members of staff, will be dissembled over a period of six to nine months.
“It is part of our normal business practice to regularly review our business models and ensure we continue to meet our customer needs and remain competitive,” stated Ray Dunn, a spokesperson for Schneider Electric.
“We gave careful consideration and thorough investigation to all the feedback we received during the consultation,” he added.
“Following consultation it was decided that our manufacturing operations in Christchurch did not meet our business requirements.”
Schneider Electric has been working with the union, E tu, to create a support package for its workers.
“We've seen a string of these closures, and every time it's a blow for our members and the economy,” commented Phil Knight, Industry Coordinator at E tu.
“The official line is there's a buoyant job market out there, but manufacturing jobs like these have provided secure, well-paid, permanent, full-time jobs. These are now a relative rarity,” he said.
“However, these workers do have skills and good work records that would be of interest to any employer in any number of industries.”