So this is ‘job creation’ by foreign ownership?

By   /   February 20, 2016  /   29 Comments

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Frank Macskasy - letters to the editor - Frankly Speaking

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This is not the news that towns and regions across the country want to wake up to;

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Shock in Invercargill as meatworks shuts

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The Radio NZ report continues;

Prime Range was taken over 15 months [November 2014] ago by a Chinese-backed company, Lianhua Trading Group, which itself could be troubled.

Its shares had been put into receivership and it had changed directors several times since the deal.

The Meat Workers Union said the firm had run out of money because its investors had been caught up in turmoil on the Chinese stock exchange.

Invercargill MP Sarah Dowie has called on Prime Range to tell its suspended workers what is going on.

Ms Dowie said she had received messages from distraught families and the situation was hard on them.

Work and Income New Zealand was on standby for workers as a safety net, but she hoped issues would be resolved as soon as possible.

No one from the company, nor its directors, returned calls from RNZ News.

I’ll bet that “no one from the company, nor its directors, returned calls from RNZ NewsCountries like China are not noted for engaging with media and explaining what is happening to their workers.

The fate of Prime Range prompted me to share these observations with The Southland Times;

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from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: The editor <letters@stl.co.nz>
date: Thu, Feb 18, 2016
subject: Letter to the editor

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The editor
Southland Times

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One hundred and thirty workers at Prime Range Meats have been suspended, with no guarantee that they will be able to return to work. This is the fall-out after Prime was purchased by foreign investors in November 2014.

The situation for these 130 workers is dire, with no income, and no money with which to buy food or pay their bills. How they are able to survive is a miracle in itself.

In all this mess, where is Southland’s former MP, Bill English? Despite abdicating his role as MP for Southland, and becoming a sole-List MP in 2014, one would expect that he has at least a moral duty to step in and sort out this mess.

After all, it was Bill English who, in March 2009, said,

“Overseas investment can play an important role in economic recovery and job creation” (Beehive: ‘Government to simplify foreign investment rules’)

In this case, overseas investment has factored in job destruction, putting many Southland families into financial strife.

Bill English needs to step up. He has advocated for foreign investment and takeover of local companies. Now he needs to take responsibility.

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-Frank Macskasy

[address and phone number supplied]

Postscript

In justifying the need for foreign investment, and consequential buy-up of local companies and other assets, Bill English said in Parliament on 13 February 2013;

“…New Zealand has not, for many decades, had sufficient savings to fund all of its own investment.”

Mr English is 100% correct in  this; New Zealand has not had sufficient savings to fund all of its own investment. Not since National abandoned Labour’s superannuation savings scheme in 1975;

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Compulsory super 'would be worth $278b' - fairfax media - National Govt incompetance

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Fortyone years later, we are still paying for National’s short-sightedness and fiscal imprudence.

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References

Radio NZ: Shock in Invercargill as meatworks shuts

Beehive: Hon Bill English

Beehive: Government to simplify foreign investment rules

Parliament: Hansards – Economic Growth and Job Creation – Progress and Foreign Direct Investment

Fairfax media: Compulsory super ‘would be worth $278b’

Additional

Radio NZ: 130 meatworkers wait for news after suspension

Radio NZ: Meat workers in limbo after sudden suspension

Radio NZ: Suspended meatworker’s wife says 130 families are struggling

NZ Herald: Decision lies with farmers, says English

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9-john-key-tenants-in-our-own-country

 

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29 Comments

  1. Afewknowthetruth says:

    The Smiling Assassin is doing his job well. People continue to vote for their own impoverishment in the short term and an uninhabitable planet a little further down the track..

  2. countryboy says:

    Foreign Ownership of farm lands and infrastructure?

    But who cares right?
    ( Grammer Police ? Go on high alert. I don’t have much time today but I do want to get this out. )
    And the mythical, hinterlanders way out there are only farmers farming to provide worthless foods that seem to magically appear in supermarkets at prices higher than you might find them anywhere else in the world. And who needs to eat anyway? So long as we have tourists and the internet? No need for silly old food. Let foreign companies and foreign owned banks and foreign owned politicians take our farm lands away from us and watch on as our complex agricultural systems are broken down by accountants and financiers who will kill the land, poison our waterways and depopulate those lands of people with the level of expertise it takes generations to hone to work with the land in an holistic way which made NZ the Market Garden of Europe which , in turn, built our economy to a first world status only to be plundered by swindlers who, it can be easily argued, committed sabotage on a biblical level for their fancy, city lifestyles. ( Breathing now. )
    Ask Hugh Fletcher and his wife who’s also a judge. According to the News, his cows are shitting, as cows do, in your fresh water. Any good farmer would tell you that allowing your stock to shit in waterways is beyond madness. It’s slack. It’s lazy. It’s unhealthy for other animals. It’s a fine fat fellow with millions who doesn’t give a fuck.
    Is that the same Fletcher whanau who put the squeeze on our government of the day to restrict the importation of cheap steel from over the seas which is why the CTV building in Ch Ch was under reinforced which was why it collapsed and killed all those people in February 2011? I could be wrong. I would like to be proven wrong. Who can prove me wrong. I love apologising. I come from a long line of apologisers and retractors with much of the doffing of ones fucking cap!

    Speaking of ‘ fuck’ . Here’s some fuck words for you.

    One fine Sunday morning in Herne Bay.

    For you breakfasting people?

    ” Pass the Jam’s, toast, butters, eggs, bacon, tomatoes, cereals, fish and fruits please … ?

    What ! ?
    There isn’t any ! ? Well, go to the supermarket then and buy them?

    What ! ?
    The supermarket is what … ? Empty …. ? Bu’… what do we eat… ? Go on-line and ask the internet quick …. ?

    ( Tickety, tackety, tickety, tackety…tick, tick, tick…)

    The Internet says what … ? It say’s wh’ … ?

    It says we’re fucked ! ?

    What ! ? Does it mean ‘ fucked’ ? Or fucked, fucked ?

    Ooooh , not the good kind of fucked… !

    Fuuuuck !

    Doesn’t Miffy the Labradoodle look particularly plump today? Mmmmm…Where’s the Watties ?

    ( Remember Watties ? They forcibly took our best fruits, canned them then exported them to Australia while our growers were forbidden from selling export grade fruits to us from their road side stalls. Gee, thanks Apple and Pear Marketing Board. )

    Thanks too Ministry of Primary Industries

    Use this tool to find out what rules you need to follow under the Food Act 2014

    Food Act 2014
    The Food Act 2014 comes into force on 1 March 2016. It takes a new approach to managing food safety. Find out more about the Food Act and what it means for you.

    https://www.mpi.govt.nz/food-safety/food-act-2014/

    Isn’t wonderful that we have a gubbimint so concerned for our safety? Isn’t though? Darlings .
    Don’t want a starving south Auckland kid biting into a bug bitten apple now do we? Or God forbid, an iffy pear?

    Nothing to do with power and control. Move along now …. Oh Look ! It’s rugby !

    You thieving, lying filth ! Here comes the Truth.

  3. Steve King says:

    Great letter to the Southland Times, Frank. They don’t like it up ’em Cap’n Mannerin’!

  4. saveNZ says:

    +100 – welcome to global control by faceless paper companies.

    One day you have a job, next day nobody knows what happened. Might take a while to find out too. Meanwhile what do 130 families do?

    I’m sure the banks won’t be out of pocket, the firm winding up the company, but the workers will and the taxpayers!

  5. Pete says:

    “Fortyone years later, we are still paying for National’s short-sightedness and fiscal imprudence.”

    And 41 years later the same sort of arseholes with the same sort of shortsightedness are tell me what’s best for the country.

    And telling me we don’t have the finances for infrastructural development.

    Those like Hosking and Henry operating on the “Key is God” level are the same as the “Muldoon is God” mob. They shat in their nest and our nest yet are moaning that we are in the crap.

  6. Sam Sam says:

    I mean Bill English is making a really really really good argument for why working for a company is a bad idea and that the future of work is best described as self employed

  7. dave brown says:

    Tim Shadbolt should do more than live off the dying embers of his radical youth and take back the plant under council ownership and let the workers run it as a cooperative. Whenever a plant shuts down local bodies should claim back any subsidies used up over the years as equity. There is bound to be some rates rebate or other inducement to set up shop for the sake of employing people. Take Rio Tinto. When this plan fails we want more than our wages we want our ‘backwages’ as ARD Fairburn once put it. We want the plant and machinery as compensation for the value that we produced that went into the owners pockets before they pissed off. This would include no compensation to the company shareholders nor to any bank owed money by the company. This would be a quid pro quo for the 2008 govt guarantee that allowed the Aussie banks to ride out the GFC and pump money out of workers pockets ever since.

  8. Mike the Lefty says:

    Once again we see NZ workers shafted by the board room decisions of faceless directors who are completely unaccountable for their decisions and actions.
    Another example of how little National cares about provincial NZ.
    That is how the National government neo-lib machine likes it. The only time National feign any regrets is shortly before a general election.

  9. Jack Ramaka says:

    Muldoon was a clown and history proves it?

    • elle says:

      I would say crook,he robbed the people of NZ of super money,now Key is handing over everything to overseas corporations.
      Time for a change people before NZ is bankrupt.

      • Rae says:

        Have you seen the latest Roy Morgan poll, how the hell does this keep happening, its like turkeys voting for Christmas?

        • Joanna P says:

          My feeling is dirty politics is embedded in Aoteroa / NZ … the corporate sector is in ascendancy at the expense of working NZ’ers … MSM has been bought and paid for by the right …

          Why do we believe these pollsters? Who do they work for? What is their methodology? Do they manipulate the stats to suit this ongoing massive social change (ie sell off) to benefit the richest 10%’ers. Who do they ring … and mostly on landlines … who bothers to answer their questions … ???

          We are being manipulated in every other field … why not this one? There is NO WAY that after 7 years this fool of a PM is so highly rated … we are simply not that dumb.

          Finally as a piece of nonsense anecdotal evidence of one … I stopped taking survey polls over a year ago … got sick of them! After a very short space of time I went from at least 1-2 calls a month to about 2-3 calls a year. Of those one was a computer generated call and the others were from Curia. But when I know its from them I tell them to …. So now even fewer calls!

  10. Jack Ramaka says:

    The Greece of the South Pacific?

  11. tiki says:

    You could add to that list the former Taranaki Abattoir,and then >> http://www.goldinternational.co.nz/
    Once a farmers co-op,then bought out by chinese interests, and now into receivership ..
    40 jobs

  12. Doubting Thomas says:

    “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
    – Mark Twain

    “Lies, Damn Lies, and Opinion Polls!” Huffington Post
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-sten-odenwald/lies-damn-lies-and-opinio_b_5496198.html

    Maybe real political journalists (not political commentators nor “pundits”) might like to research the efficacy and validity of polls? Maybe Paul Henry and Mike Hosking will “investigate” the validity of polls?

    • Joanna P says:

      Couldn’t agree more!

      But the investigation needs to be done by competent people. I have no illusions that Hosking and Henry would know what investigate means.

      I put the idea that our universities could do polling. Combine Statistics departments with Politics, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology Education departments … and so on. They could do a range of social research as well political surveys. Use their students up and down the country to do the polling, analyse and publish results. Make it transparent and open and have the data available for everyone to see and use.

      Independent, peer reviewed, publicly reviewed and open to scrutiny. A really valuable public resource. Also have a system where the public could submit questions for survey. Lots of options!

      Maybe then we might trust the results.

  13. Mike in Auckland says:

    The NZ meatworks, they do all seem to have a bad reputation now, whether it comes to AFFCO, this one Frank writes about, or Alliance. Here is an article showing how they operate, or try to operate, cutting costs where they can, which includes contractors and workers:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/72116001/Alliances-new-payment-terms-unacceptable

    They may be collectives, some of them, others in private or overseas ownership, they are all trying to get away with practices that have nothing to do with good faith and decent working conditions.

    This incident about a Chinese owned company is just one incident, the New Zealand operators are also no angels, as we know.

  14. Mike in Auckland says:

    It does not matter whether a plant or company is owned by a foreign investor, bound by local law when it comes to employment, or whether it is New Zealand owned. The problem is that we face the global market, which is ruthless, and the more FTAs we sign, the more ruthless it becomes, as it means workers will be forced to compete with lower working and environmental conditions in other competitor countries. That is why we should be concerned about the TPPA.

    We will have workers forced to compete with Mexicans, with Malaysians, Vietnamese, Peruvians, Chileans and where else they come from, as they will be in one major market and operating under similar free trade conditions.

    Local meat works are forced to compete, otherwise they will not make a profit or even break even. We have simply more proof as to how the international working environment is forced to adjust to the lowest common denominator.

    And we have a planet full of desperately willing workers, they are streaming into the US, Europe, the better off places in South East Asia and also Australia and eventually here.

    There is no shortage of workers, and hence local workers should be damned worried about their future. Why do farmers bring in farm workers from the Philippines and now Indonesia, and fruit pickers from the islands and so, I ask?

    The reason is clear, and we can see in suburban Auckland, the middle class does not give much of a shit, whether their shopping bags are filled by low waged workers, whether their meals are prepared by underpaid restaurant workers, they think it is ok, as they do well under such conditions. They vote Key, and he is the one leading us further down the garden path, where the country will become ever more divided, and the rural workers will compete with slave labour.

  15. Samwise says:

    Excellent, Frank. Well written. It’ll be interesting if your letter is published.


 
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