whitcoulls goes into receivership & looks like it might fold. whitcoulls is miraculously saved when a buyer steps in to take over the business. a nz icon is saved.
but at what cost? as usual, it's the employees who are being asked to pay, even though it is not their fault that the business has struggled:
"Whitcoulls workers are being asked to sign away any entitlement to redundancy compensation, notice of termination of employment and any claims or grievances from their previous employer. If the administrator made workers redundant today, it would have to make a lieu-of-notice payment and redundancy payment, up to a cap of $18,600 per person."
Reid said under this agreement, the new owner James Pascoe Group could hire a worker for one week and make them redundant the following week with no redundancy compensation.
"Even at a conservative estimate, the 900 Whitcoulls workers in the sales process could have lieu payments and redundancy entitlements of $5000 each.
"This means that Whitcoulls' workers are being forced to contribute almost half a million dollars of entitlements to the sale....it could well be double that."
see also this press release by the CTU:
Peter Conway, CTU Secretary, said today “the normal procedure is for workers to transfer across with their same terms and conditions including any redundancy entitlements. Instead these workers have had the squeeze put on them over a weekend to sign away their future entitlement to redundancy pay.”
“If they don’t sign the agreement, they will be deemed to have resigned, that’s hardly a choice. This isn’t fair treatment and places these workers in a very vulnerable position.” Said Peter Conway.
mr dave norman talks about certainty of employment with the new contracts, when there actually is none. i'm sure there's nothing in those new contracts that says they don't need redundancy payments because they can never be fired.
and the "staff purchase benefits"? this isn't a grocery store, so those benefits aren't going to put food on the table, nor will they help pay the rent. many of the employees will be on a low wage, and they need the money to live. cheap books won't help with that.
also worth reading is tapu misa, being brilliant as always, this time on the topic of the minimum wage being raised to $15.