Metso boss im­pressed with staff’s at­ti­tude

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART ni­cola.ste­

Close to 30 peo­ple will lose their jobs when Metso (Mata­mata) per­ma­nently closes op­er­a­tions in De­cem­ber.

Metso has con­firmed 27 per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees will be made re­dun­dant and a fur­ther 11 fixedterm em­ploy­ees will not have their con­tracts re­newed. Three engi­neers will re­main in Mata­mata in a ‘‘knowl­edge-trans­fer’’ ca­pac­ity un­til they are made re­dun­dant in De­cem­ber 2014.

One global IT em­ployee based in Mata­mata will keep his job.

Keith Cooke, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of 28 years, said the speed of the clo­sure had come as a sur­prise to staff.

‘‘It was ac­tu­ally pretty quick to be hon­est,’’ he said.

‘‘We found out at the end of May that the com­pany was un­der re­view again and that re­view took ap­prox­i­mately a month.

‘‘At the end of June, we an­nounced to staff that the com­pany would be go­ing through a re­struc­tur­ing process.

‘‘In July it was con­firmed that op­er­a­tions would close.’’

Mr Cooke is one of the em­ploy­ees to be made re­dun­dant by the clo­sure.

Metso is a global en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy com­pany, with em­ploy­ees in about 50 coun­tries.

Metso (Mata­mata) spe­cialises in ver­ti­cal shaft im­pact crush­ing equip­ment and re­lated ser­vices for both min­ing and con­struc­tion.

Staff num­bers in Mata­mata dropped from 133 in 2008 to just 31 by De­cem­ber last year, fol­low­ing the global re­ces­sion and a move to man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia.

Mata­mata con­tin­ued as a tech­ni­cal cen­tre but Metso has now de­cided to base this work near its head­quar­ters in Fin­land.

‘‘ This was a very strate­gic de­ci­sion by Metso,’’ said Mr Cooke.

‘‘The team and the com­pany here was well per­form­ing, it just didn’t fit in with the strat­egy.’’

Staff were un­der­stand­ably dis­ap­pointed at the clo­sure but were grate­ful they had a bit of time to sort things out, he said.

‘‘I am re­ally, re­ally im­pressed with the staff.

‘‘They have taken it as well as can be ex­pected and have shown a lot of pride in how they have con­tin­ued to work.’’

A hu­man re­sources con­sul­tant has been hired to help em­ploy­ees tran­si­tion into other em­ploy­ment.

‘‘At the end of the day, when we turn off the lights here, we want to be in a po­si­tion where our em­ploy­ees have found work some­where else,’’ Mr Cook said.

Metso has been a sig­nif­i­cant part of the busi­ness land­scape in Mata­mata for many years.

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