Hamilton businesses let down redundant Huttons workers: 40 still without work
Hamilton businesses have let down the 125 Huttons workers who were made redundant at the end of March this year according their union, FIRST Union.
“After the closure of the Huttons site FIRST Union funded a Redundancy Support Coordinator for two months,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.
“Te Aroha Tihi, a former Huttons worker, took on the redundancy support coordinator role. In the period since the closure of the plants he has kept in touch with almost 100 of the redundant Huttons workers.
“During the two months since Huttons closed, 40 of these 100 workers have found jobs, 42 are still seeking work, 6 have retired, 1 has died, 1 is a student and the rest have been uncontactable,” said Te Aroha Tihi.
“Hamilton businesses, have not come forward offering well paid, permanent jobs,” Te Aroha said.
“Employers in Hamilton are making increased use of casualised labour and temp agency labour. They are also high users of the 90-day ‘fire at will’ provision of the Employment Relations Act.
“We have a number of examples of Hamilton employers saying they have positions available, but when our redundant Huttons workers apply they are told that they will only be taken on through an agency as a temp.
“Hamilton’s workers are getting the raw end of this deal, with lower wages and reduced job security. How can workers budget to feed and house their families when they are on near minimum wages and do not know from one week to the other what their hours and income will be?” Te Aroha Tihi said.
“The response of Hamilton has been much worse than Rotorua, that had its own major redundancy when Tachikawa wood mill went into receivership just before Christmas last year,” said Reid.
“Rotorua has a tighter labour market and a higher unemployment rate than Hamilton. However FIRST Union’s Tachikawa workers’ redundancy support centre reports that only 6 of the 80 workers signing into its Rotorua redundancy support centre have yet to find employment. It certainly is a tale of two cities,” Robert Reid said.