NZ Refining says proposed strike in October could cost $8-$9M in fees

New Zealand Refining, the nation’s only oil refinery, said two unions representing 160 of its workers, or about half its workforce, have served notice of a two-day strike next month, a move that could result in $8 million to $9 million of lost processing fees.

First Union and the New Zealand Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union gave notice of strike action covering refinery operators, emergency servicemen, mechanical, instrument and maintenance workers, which would amount to a complete withdrawal of labour on October 7 and 8, the Whangarei-based company said. NZ Refining has been in talks with the unions over their collective employment contracts since May and will continue to try to reach agreement, it said.

The strike would require the company to shut down processing units at the Marsden Point Refinery, and given restart times, could result in 11 days of disruption, which could represent “a loss of processing fee revenue which is expected to be in the range of NZD 8-9 million.”

NZ Refining has about 300 workers according to its website.

The company would continue to operate the refinery to Auckland pipeline, it said.

NZ Refining shares last traded at $1.65 and have tumbled about 20 percent this year, while the NZX 50 Index gained about 11 percent. The refinery operator’s biggest shareholders are the energy companies that use its services – Mobil Oil New Zealand, Z Energy, BP New Zealand Holdings and Chevron New Zealand.

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