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Clearer direction needed for redundant Christchurch workers

Media Release: National Distribution Union

Wednesday March 16 2011

Clearer direction needed for redundant Christchurch workers

The government needs to send a clearer message to redundant Canterbury workers about what support is available to them, the National Distribution Union said today.

Yesterday, 220 Canterbury Spinners workers lost their jobs, following irreparable damage to the company’s Bromley plant. Up to 50 of these can access new jobs at North Island plants.

National Distribution Union General Secretary Robert Reid said the all of the plant’s production workers have access to a union-negotiated redundancy payment, but a question mark still existed over their eligibility for Earthquake Job Loss Cover payments.

“The Job Loss Cover scheme has some exclusions, but it does not seem to exclude redundancy pay,” Robert Reid said.

“This is welcome, but workers will remain very concerned by the disclaimer statement associated with the scheme.”

It says workers must ‘repay any Earthquake Job Loss Cover payments that for whatever reason you are not entitled’, Robert Reid said.

“Workers will not apply unless they know 100% that they are entitled to the payment.”

“They do not want to be in a situation where WINZ may seek to cover any money incorrectly or wrongly paid at a later date.”

“There is also the question of whether eligibility kicks in at the time of redundancy or after the notice period has finished.”

“Prime Minister John Key said yesterday case-by-case exceptions can be made to the two support packages, but clarity is needed for any Canterbury worker who has some access to redundancy pay, not just those at Canterbury Spinners,” Robert Reid said.


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