Twenty more Fitzroy Yachts workers were last week made redundant as the remaining crew complete work on the New Zealand yard’s last project. The launch of the 37m Escapade, code-named FY17, is scheduled for March 22.
Morale is low at the workshop, redundant workers told the Fairfax News. “After Tuesday there’s not going to be too much work done in the next few weeks,” said one worker, who did not wish to be named.
The paper said that many workers, which numbered about 120 in January, have already left the company. Some told the paper that they had not found new jobs.
According to the paper, FY17 is being built for Christophe Albin, who is believed to have bought Fitzroy Yachts from former New Plymouth man Peter White-Robinson. Albin lives in Malaysia and is the executive chairman and majority owner of electronics company Escatec, founded in 1974.
Shortly after the news was announced, Louise Godfrey, the wife of a Fitzroy worker, set up a website and Facebook page to publicise the fact that the workers were losing their jobs. Godfrey went to farmers’ markets and other local events to spread the word that highly trained workers were now available. Soon, Godfrey was being interviewed on national radio and television.
Godfrey’s efforts seem to have paid off. Her website, weedneedwork.co.nz lists 120 workers and their skill sets. To date, 71 workers have been employed, while 49 continue to seek work. The Facebook page, Supporting Fitzroy Yacht Workers, also offers congratulations to workers who have found new jobs. Even Fitzroy Yachts has posts on the pages, notifying workers of potential jobs in other yards.
The yard also told the remaining workers that they would be paid bonus wages if they stay on to complete the Escapade project, if it is not finished by Saturday.