F&P denies Cleveland plant closure story

By Chris Nicholls

BRISBANE: Fisher & Paykel has denied a report in the Brisbane Courier Mail that it was cutting workers’ hours at its Cleveland refrigeration factory, ahead of a possible closure and relocation offshore.

The article claimed Fisher & Paykel wanted to close the factory for ten days due to oversupply, and that while it was a short-term fix, the company could not rule out a move to Thailand.

The Courier Mail quoted vice-president and investor relations manager Paul Brockett saying "There are no plans for that [a relocation] at the moment (but) all our factories are under review constantly.”

However, another Fisher & Paykel spokesperson said the claims were distorted and categorically denied the company planned to close the factory.

The spokesperson said the staff hour changes were due to a regular cycling of worker’s holidays and while they planned to cut stock, it remained unrelated to the US housing slowdown.

However, the Courier mail reported workers would not receive pay for enforced one day a week time off over the next ten weeks.

The speculation follows Fisher & Paykel’s recent decision to move its New Zealand laundry plant to Thailand.

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