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Sanford closure: redundancy pay an insult to workers

Sanford closure: redundancy pay and consultation process an insult to workers

Workers at the Sanford mussel processing facility in Christchurch are gobsmacked by the company’s decision to give a minimal redundancy payment to workers after a stressful and uncertain few weeks.

Workers were given just six days, including a weekend, to consider their options as part of a consultation process.

Service and Food Workers Union organiser Chas Muir said that Sanford refused the union’s request to extend the consultation period, or to consider a redundancy payment consistent with other Sanford collective employment agreements across the country.

“It looks like Sanford wants to shaft the workers as quickly as possible,” he said. “After all the stress and uncertainly Sanford have put their workers through, it’s astounding that they won’t agree to better redundancy packages.”

Sanford workers will be given redundancy payments of just four weeks wages after their notice period finishes. There will be no recognition of long service, except when grandfathered provisions from previous agreements exist for some workers.

Mr Muir said that the National Government was doing nothing to stop companies like Sanford from exploiting vulnerable workers across most industries.

“The Government is actively eroding workers’ rights and protections, they’re attacking unions, they’ve done little to support our exporters, and they won’t address the climate issues that have led to this closure,” he said.

“Whatever way you look at it, Sanford workers are the victims of a Government that doesn’t care about workers.”

He said it was wasn’t surprising that National Party president Peter Goodfellow was a director and major shareholder in a company so willing to leave their workers out in the cold.


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