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Jobs Crisis Summit 'the start of a new consensus'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The EPMU’s Jobs Crisis Summit held today in Auckland has called for concrete action to tackle the jobs crisis and support high value manufacturing in New Zealand.

The summit brought together manufacturing and exporting businesses, unions, economists and political parties to discuss how to tackle the jobs crisis and build a future for manufacturing in New Zealand.

Outcomes of the summit include:

Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First announced a parliamentary inquiry into the crisis in manufacturing.

The Council of Trade Unions and the members of the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association will seek an urgent meeting with the Government to propose steps that can be taken right now to deal with the exchange rate issue as well as other measures to help stem the flow of job losses.

The EPMU will bring together a broad network of individuals and organisations to lobby for change on structural issues holding back manufacturing such as the high exchange rate, government procurement policies and the need for a more active role for the Government in the economy.

EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says:

"The EPMU called this summit because we have seen a deepening jobs crisis in this country, with 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost in the last four years and an escalating trend of mass redundancies.

"We wanted to bring together people involved in the sector to talk about how we can address the crisis and then to start to build support for a new approach that supports businesses, communities and working New Zealanders.

"This summit showed that there is an emerging consensus that the jobs crisis is real and the Government needs to take a more active role to support manufacturing.

"We welcome the parliamentary inquiry into manufacturing from Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First. The industry speakers at our summit identified that the current crisis needs a political solution and this is exactly the kind of initiative we were hoping for.

"Our union will now start work on building a network of businesses, unions, economists and commentators who are passionate about high value manufacturing and want to work together to provide a future for the sector.

"We are also supporting the excellent initiative from the Council of Trade Unions and the NZ Manufacturers and Exporters Association to approach the Government with some practical steps that it can take right now to support manufacturers and stem the flow of job losses.

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