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Fraud charges cold comfort to betrayed workers

July 14, 2011

Fraud charges cold comfort to betrayed workers

The NDU says it is cold comfort to out of pocket workers that criminal charges have been laid against former Lane Walker Rudkin (LWR) director Kenneth Anderson.

The union’s General Secretary, Robert Reid, says he asked the receivers to refer matters of concern to the Serious Fraud Office when the company collapsed in 2009 and he is pleased the actions of Anderson will be examined in a court.

“Many of our workers have never received full payment of the redundancy and holiday pay they were owed by the company.

“Workers at the Wairarapa LWR subsidiary of Bouzaid and Ballaben were particularly hard done by. They only ever received partial payment of the money that was owed to them, while their Christchurch based colleagues fared slightly better and eventually got paid in full.”

Paul Watson, NDU Southern Region Secretary, says LWR was an iconic manufacturer with a proud history of employing thousands of Christchurch workers.

“Those workers deserved a better fate after the years of hard work and loyal service they gave to the company.

“LWR owed Westpac over $100 million. That’s not pocket change and I hope they and other banks have tightened their lending criteria to avoid such tragedies happening to unsuspecting workers again.”

Mr Reid says the union and the redundant workers will be watching the court case with interest.

“Ex employees of LWR are still waiting to find out exactly how things went so wrong and would like to see justice served if there was fraud involved.”

ENDS

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