Union workers who complained about unsafe conditions at Save Mart stores have been made redundant, soon after John Campbell was invited to the New Lynn store to see the operation for himself.
Save Mart workers have told Checkpoint they have been exposed to health and safety risks by being denied the use of gloves while sorting through clothing donations made through the big blue bins in many New Zealand neighbourhoods.
Workers have spoken of finding syringes, broken glass, used sex toys, and clothing covered in blood and faeces, as they sort through the donations.
WorkSafe said earlier this week it would investigate health and safety standards.
First Union organiser Graham McKean told Checkpoint that while investigators were at the New Lynn store today, the 10 union members at the store were given four weeks notice of redundancy.This is going to buried in a blizzard of election coverage. Almost as if it was intended to be like that.
The media aren't going to take much interest in it because it is about little poor people, and dangerous subversive lefties at that. Normal people are only interesting to television news if they come with appealing or dramatic pictures and if they are caught up in some sort of dramatic event.
Save Mart workers losing their jobs? They aren't dying in a cataclysm and some of them won't even be smartly dressed or terribly photogenic. Where the 'human interest' in normal, boring people involved in an industrial dispute?
It's massively corrupt - unsafe working conditions, misleading 'charity' campaigning and now probably illegally firing union members. They mustn't be allowed to get away with it.
But I fear they will. Employment litigation beckons, if the bosses at Save Mart aren't compelled to back down. I assume the psychopaths running the company have had some sort of semi-competent advice, rather than just acting on impulse. And their pockets are deep and time is on their side; they can countenance protracted litigation. People living hand to mouth, suddenly having to find new jobs aren’t in that position.
It's a bigger story than the election, in some ways. That's just about how one bunch of corrupt liars is arguing with another bunch of corrupt liars about which set of promises get to be broken.
This story is about real people losing their jobs because their employers are wicked crooks.