Fletcher Building’s attempt to underpay workers during the lockdown by proposing progressive reductions in income over the twelve weeks of the Government’s subsidy is appalling behaviour from a major employer and represents the worst kind of wage theft from workers, FIRST Union said today.
"A company the size of Fletcher Building, with its lucrative Government contracts and massive shareholder dividends, trying to protect its profit margins by underpaying workers during this crisis is completely reprehensible in every sense," said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
"Fletcher made $164m in profit last year in New Zealand, so when they feign concern for their long-term sustainability, they’re really talking about protecting corporate profits and not the longevity of their workforce."
"If Fletcher won’t pass on a subsidy intended for workers in the way it was designed, they should not be receiving further Government contracts - it’s a dereliction of duty from a company who’ve grown and profited from their relationship with Government and involvement in significant infrastructural projects."
"Guess what - workers are the essential infrastructure of Fletcher Building as a company, and if their wages are stolen and they’re driven to poverty, the company will never truly recover after the pandemic."
"We are calling on Fletcher to pay workers the full allowance for the wage subsidy as their intentions so far are not in-keeping with the requirements of receiving Government assistance."
"We have written to the company- and will be discussing the matter with Government over the coming days - workers will not tolerate this."