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Statement on behalf of Five Boroughs staff

Statement on behalf of Five Boroughs staff.

Yesterday former staff of Five Boroughs restaurant and Unions Wellington representatives met with their former employer. Staff were able to get guarantees regarding their owed Holiday Pay which was paid out yesterday afternoon.

Given the manner in which this process had occurred, staff also sought a payment in lieu of notice of their redundancy, and sought to agree on the means of remaining staff becoming members of Unite Union.

We believed that this meeting was productive. Staff received assurances that Mr Assaf and Mr Thomas would respond to these requests in good faith. This has proven not to be the case, and instead communication has effectively been broken off.

It is disappointing that Five Boroughs hasn’t been willing to resolve all issues, but having won their holiday pay, staff now want to move on.

It comes as a huge relief to staff that they have received their holiday pay. As recently as this week they had been told that this may not be the case. We are firmly of the belief that had it not been for the public support of Wellingtonians this would not have been the case. Staff are thankful to everyone who supported them in this process.

Staff would like to thank Unions Wellington for their assistance: “We are truly grateful to Unions Wellington for reaching out to support us during this difficult time. Their support, knowledge and conviction has blown us away and we have learnt much from witnessing the effect of our collective actions. GO UNION, STAND UP.”

Arrangements are being made for staff who have continued on at Five Boroughs to be in contact with Unite Union to prevent these kinds of issues occuring again in the future.

While this process has been disappointing, it is our hope that this becomes an example for hospitality workers going forward. When staff stick together and pursue their rights, they can not and will not be pushed around. We look forward to seeing many more examples of hospitality workers coming together in the future.


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