Bunnings made the shock announcement of the closure of the Waikanae and Te Aroha stores two days before Christmas.
The news delivered to staff on December 23 that the Waikanae Bunnings store would close after Christmas is devastating and cynical in its timing says Kapiti Coast District Councillor Rob McCann.
"It's incredibly cynical to announce a review a week ago and then inform the workers two days before Christmas the Waikanae store is closing. Cynical is too soft a word, perhaps heartless is more accurate when describing the timing," says Cr McCann.
"How could these workers get support and advice so close to Christmas. Many lawyers were closing up shop, employees at First Union had to come back from annual leave to respond. A number of people have suggested the timing was deliberate and on the information we have, it's hard to draw a different conclusion."
Cr McCann says workers were advised a week ago that there was a review of the store due to its size and and age of the building. "Somehow in the Christmas rush a review has been conducted and concluded and then staff advised with two sleeps till Christmas.
"I question how can you treat loyal workers in this manner and then effectively gag them from talking to the media suggesting that could risk their redundancy. This is not behaviour consistent with being a good employer."
Cr McCann says First Union have swung into action on behalf of the workers and the Kapiti Council's Economic Development staff have been in touch with management to see what they can do to help.
"None of this needed to happen just days before Christmas," said Cr McCann."