Alliance Proposes Closure Of Sockburn Plant

NEW ZEALAND - The Alliance Group has started a consultation process with its staff and unions on a proposal to close its Sockburn Plant in Christchurch at the end of the 2012 processing season.
calendar icon 26 September 2011
clock icon 2 minute read

Under the proposal Alliance Group would relocate Sockburn’s beef and venison processing capacity to its other plants.

Chief Executive, Grant Cuff, said that the Sockburn Plant has not operated profitably in recent years and the company has explored a number of options to address this.

The current proposal that has been developed will reduce fixed overhead costs, increase the company’s overall processing capacity and enhance profitability.

The proposal would transfer beef processing to the company’s Mataura and Pukeuri Plants where capacity is being expanded.

This will result in an increase in the company’s total capacity.

Venison processing would be transferred to a new facility to be built at Smithfield Plant in Timaru.

The Sockburn Plant also processes pigs on behalf of Porkcorp NZ which is making alternative arrangements with Ashburton Meat Processors.

Mr Cuff said there was no connection between the Christchurch earthquakes and the proposal to close Sockburn.

“Many employees are now making decisions about their future and it is important they are informed of the company’s proposal as early as possible,” he said.

If the proposal is confirmed the company will offer its 250 employees the opportunity to transfer to jobs at other Alliance Group plants where that is practicable.

Financial assistance will be provided.

For employees not wishing to transfer, or where a suitable position is not available, redundancy compensation would be paid in accordance with the appropriate agreement.

Employees will have several months to consider their alternatives and make an informed decision.

It is expected that the consultation process on the proposal will take approximately four weeks.

TheCattleSite News Desk

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