The Thames community is rallying to find new jobs for up to 100 residents left out of work when a historic engineering business went into liquidation.
A and G Price Ltd announced it was folding on Wednesday, telling its workers they should not to come back to work and there were no guarantees they would be offered redundancies.
However, other businesses in the area have rallied in support of the firm’s former workers, inundating the Thames-Coromandel District Council with new job offers.
“We’re really optimistic that people will find jobs quickly, and it’s heartening to see that our communities are rallying together already to lend support,” Mayor Sandra Goudie said.
“We’re talking about a lot of really good workers, people that are tried and true engineers, welders and other skilled tradespeople.”
Work and Income also planned to hold support sessions for the workers at the Thames Community Link today from 9am to 2pm.
The engineering company had offered a range of services, including designing and casting new steel products in its foundry.
The foundry and engineering works were opened in Thames in 1871 by brothers Alfred and George Price to service the Coromandel Peninsula’s gold mining industry.
It was one of the city’s oldest engineering businesses.
As well as gold mining machinery it built railway locomotives and wagons.
More recently it made the metal grille covering the Supreme Court building in Wellington and keels for America’s Cup boats.
Brian Donnelly worked at the foundry, first as a fitter-turner then for 35 years as a foreman, and his son had been there for 10 years.
There had been talks for several months but no-one expected the company to shut its doors so suddenly, he told RNZ’s Morning Report.
Small engineering companies in the town might take on a few workers but it wouldn’t be “anywhere near enough” and some would have to leave the town.
Some would find it tough to adapt to other trades as they’d only worked in that industry. — NZN