North Island supporters of Bluff and Timaru workers suspended by Sanford’s are staging a protest action in Auckland today.
The workers, who have been on the picket line for 6 consecutive weeks, are up against an aggressive employer who is refusing to negotiate one collective agreement for the two sites.
Sanford’s is the 2nd biggest fishing company in New Zealand and has exceptionally high profits ($54 million last year), yet South Island Sanford workers are the lowest paid in their industry.
The Sanford CEO, Eric Barrett earns $315,000 per annum and pays his workers as little as $9.54 per hour.
“Despite the change in employment legislation, Sanford’s is refusing to address the workers right to a collective agreement”, said Darien Fenton, National Secretary of the Service & Food Workers Union, the union representing the workers.
“It’s a case of a change of Act, but no change in attitude, and it’s the workers who are suffering”, said Ms Fenton.