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Security workers at Ihumaatao denied meals

First security workers at Ihumaatao are being forced to work in unsafe, unhealthy conditions, says socialist group Organise Aotearoa (OA).

During an organised hikoi across the fields of Ihumaatao yesterday, OA members engaged with First Security workers, who have been staying at Kaitiaki Village for the past two weeks.

According to OA spokesperson Kate McIntyre, security workers had been sleeping in a milking station with broken windows on scavenged mattresses from Kaitiaki Village, where temperatures regularly drop below 5 degrees at night.

“These workers are in precarious employment situations,” says McIntyre. “Many are students, migrant workers, and referred to their work through WINZ. None of those at Ihumaatao who we spoke to were unionised.”

There has been no electricity or running water since Kaitiaki were evicted from the village. OA observers suspect security workers have been drinking from a nearby rainwater tank that is not suitable for consumption without boiling. Observers could not see any toilets within walking distance.

Workers were promised meals while on shift by First Security, but those who were spoken to haven’t been provided any meals for a week. They have been told by the company that they have to provide their own food. As a result, workers are cooking over open fires with cans of food, pots, and pans scavenged from Kaitiaki Village.

“Rats were spotted around the whenua, attracted by unclean, unsanitary conditions, dishes and spoiled food which workers lack the means to clean or dispose of properly.”

“This is a shocking violation of worker’s health and safety by First Security and Fletchers. Nobody should be working in conditions like this.”

“If Fletchers has such little respect for workers’ health and safety, how can we expect them to have any respect for the whenua which they plan to desecrate?”

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