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Quarter of buggy manufacturer's staff to go

Nearly a quarter of the staff at a baby stroller manufacturing company in Lower Hutt are to lose their jobs, with little chance of a redundancy payout, as the result of the credit crisis that has hit global markets.

Tritec Manufacturing Ltd, which makes the Mountain Buggy range of strollers, announced tonight 25 of its just over 100 staff members would be made redundant.

Acting chief executive Peter Robertson said 90 percent of the company's product was exported.

"The company has suffered badly as a result of the international downturn.

"In the last 12 months the company has lost one third of its sales and looking forward there are indications of further deterioration. As a result the factory is operating at only half its normal capacity."

Mr Robertson said there was no redundancy provision in the employment agreement with staff and any ability to pay redundancy would have to be assessed in the context of the company's position

"At this point we are not in a position to make any undertakings."

Mr Robertson said attempts had been made to minimise the impact by reducing costs, including management and administration staff over the last three months through attrition, but it had not been enough.

"Staff are a significant portion of the operational costs of the business and with the very existence of the company now at threat urgent cost reductions have become necessary."

He said the company "deeply regretted" that they needed to take the action and appreciated the impact it would have on staff, "particularly at this time of the year".

Tritec presented a proposal to staff last week on the need to reduce numbers. There had been considerable consultation on the matter with both staff and the union, Mr Robertson said.

A decision on who would lose their jobs would be made over the next few days.

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