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Stuffed around for 2 years say Feltex Delegate

Stuffed around for 2 years say Feltex Delegate

Joint Press release: Meat Workers Union, National Distribution Union, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

Stuffed around for 2 years

Workers from the closed Feltex scouring plant in Kakariki are shocked and angry, says site delegate, Joseph Murray.

The 32 plant workers, all members of the Meat Workers Union, from the scouring plant near Marton, went back to work for the last time this morning to pick up their possessions under the watchful eye of security guards.

Site delegate Joseph Murray, 61, a scourer who has worked at the plant for 39 years says that he will most likely move out of Marton within the next 12 months.

"I'm 61 and I've lived here my entire life - Feltex was my second job which I started in 1967 when I was 21," he said. "But there's nothing here for me anymore, my children have all grown up and gone, and now I've lost my job."

"Deep inside I'm angry, but I knew everything was downhill two years ago when I sensed there was something wrong.

"In the 39 years that I've worked here, I've never seen the place run like it was in the last 2 years. Why has the company taken so long to tell us what's happening?

"We've been continually stuffed around. Even yesterday, the receivers were 30 minutes late to the meeting to finally tell us what was happening. When they didn't turn up on time - I knew they were going to shut down the place."

Mr Murry said that although he was nearing retirement, he had many years of work left and wasn't going to sit around.

"I feel bloody sorry for the other guys, especially those who have recently gotten a mortgage. Now where are they going to go? There aren't any jobs in Martin and there's a 10 week WINZ stand down."

Mr Martin said that the workers could receive $15,000 in redundancy from the Godfrey Hirst deal. However, like many of the long term staff before the receivership, he was entitled to a redundancy of up to $35,000 based on his annual earnings. He said that is was a double blow, as his redundancy would have been higher two years ago as his annual earnings had dropped significantly due to the poor board management of Feltex over the past two years.

Representatives of the 750 National Distribution Union and Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union Feltex members visited the worksite today to give them support and condolences.


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