Meat company Silver Fern Farms has been caught out ripping off migrant labour.

By   /   June 14, 2017  /   17 Comments

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If Silver Fern Farms can’t treat migrant labour with respect, consumers with a conscience should avoid their tainted products when doing the weekly shop. And Immigration NZ, who have strict rules about companies who rip off migrant workers, should simply refuse to allow them to bring labour in from overseas in the future.

The tip line has been running hot on what is happening inside Silver Fern Farms.

Here’s the latest…

The Chinese owned company has refused to make redundancy payments to a group of 25 Samoan workers who were amongst the 350 meat workers who lost their jobs when the Fairton plant near Ashburton closed a fortnight ago. The company claim the skilled workers, many of whom have been loyal employees for years, miss out on thousands of dollars because of a small change in the wording of their seasonal visa applications.

Unbeknown to the workers, who are Samoa based and employed under NZ’s seasonal employment ‘AIP’ program, SFF sneakily changed the official place of their employment this season from the Fairton works to “the South Island”. The meat company reckons that the vaguer wording renders the redundancy section of their union negotiated employment agreement null and void. Note, they never told the workers, never discussed it with the union and, to add insult to injury, have not even formally told the workers that they won’t be getting paid.

Many of them have returned home assuming that they would be treated the same as any other worker at Fairton. Few are even aware that the money they are expecting will not be turning up in their bank accounts. That sucks.

Silver Fern seem to think ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is a valid legal principle. It’s not.

This is a colonial era style rip off of vulnerable workers. It’s shameful, cynical and callous. It shouldn’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.

If Silver Fern Farms can’t treat migrant labour with respect, consumers with a conscience should avoid their tainted products when doing the weekly shop. And Immigration NZ, who have strict rules about companies who rip off migrant workers, should simply refuse to allow them to bring labour in from overseas in the future.

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17 Comments

  1. WILD KATIPO says:

    I hope these Silver Fern CEO’s are taken to the cleaners before the courts.

    This is what happens when we allow these globalists to move in and create their globalist inspired free markets and enabling such as these racketeering offshore owners to sneak in and water down our labour laws : theft.

  2. This will be checked out by the MWU. I’ve heard nothing about this but my South Island colleagues may well be on top of it. The union is pretty strong on the ground at Fairton.

  3. saveNZ says:

    Lower wages, worse conditions continue under foreign controlled “NZ branded” company.

  4. In Vino says:

    Bloody disgusting behaviour from profit-gougers. Ban them.

  5. countryboy says:

    Does Bill English know about this ?

    Bahahahahahah ahaha hah aha ahahahahaha ahaha a ahah ahah

    Wait, wait…… can’t breath ! Baha ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha ahaha ahha aha ahah aa

    Oh, Oh ! Ba ahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaahaha ahahahahah

  6. Kate Mahoney says:

    Surely this breaches the OIO conditions of their purchase of the company ?

  7. Shona says:

    The part sale of SFF was a forced buy out brokered by Lehman Bros. SFF was a farmer’s co-op and farmers were still shareholders in SFF when the CEO forced this coup upon them. Winston has been calling for an inquiry into this monumental ripp off ever since it occurred. But of course because it didn’t happen in Queenstown no one in Wellington or elsewhere is remotely interested in ANYTHING that happens in other parts of the South Island.This particular piece of theft by the scumbag Chinese interests me because my Great Grandfather was one of the farmer shareholder founders of SFF,originally a farmer owned freezing works in south otago.

  8. Iain Mclean says:

    Marytn;

    Good that you raise this.

    “..should simply refuse to allow them to bring labour in from overseas in the future.”

    The argument being there are plenty of suitable workers here already that are
    costing the NZ taxpayer on unemployment,that only have the skills required.

  9. Castro says:

    A company with strong ties to an expansionist, organ harvesting (and, quite frankly, supremely racist) dictatorship, the largest on the planet, in fact? Surprise, surprise.

    What jobs do Don Brash and Jenny Shipley have now?

  10. Mike the Lefty says:

    Have the Chinese owners of Silver Fern farms actually complied with any of the terms and conditions imposed on them when they bought the company?
    They seem just to ignore their obligations, and our justice system does absolutely f..all about it.
    No wonder New Zealand is such easy pickings for foreign speculators and vulture companies.

  11. Samwise says:

    Time for the OIO to reverse the decision to allow overseas owners to buy silver fern farms. They have cut staffing numbers and now this exploitation. This is a slap in the face for our sovereignty and standards.

  12. Richard Neutgens says:

    Silver Fern a Bad Name now?
    Shame on this company ripping off our highly esteemed good sport brand name-
    Unacceptable!
    Rude posing as a Kiwi biz an embarrassment to not just themselves as a consequence..
    Thanks for highlighting slippery sly bad business Martyn.
    Serious situation on many levels..
    Locals sold out-exposed now a local problem affecting kiwis too.
    Slippery slope has begun!
    Silver ferns next step will be most revealing about them for all to see now.
    Will they correct their mistake & appologise?..
    or will they will fail themselves & their own staff further?
    Trusted brand or brand disgraced no longer to be trusted?

  13. Paul Judge says:

    It is telling that all the outrage expressed here is at the injustice done to these workers. Absolutely that outrage is justified but does anyone give a thought to the animals who are slaughtered in their thousands on a daily basis, experiencing total fear and horror at their violent deaths? The answer is very likely no, because the left have not yet made the connection between the exploitation of humans and the exploitation of animals.
    Modern science tells us now that animals are sentient, they have emotional lives and feel fear and pain and suffer in their existential vulnerability like humans do. There are many environmental reasons not to eat animals – the huge scale of industrial animal farming is a central driver of climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss. And there are many health reasons to avoid animal products – we are subject to a huge propaganda machine that tells us the opposite. But the most pressing reason to stop eating animals is the awful crime that animal farming represents in the annals of human caused misery. That workers can be so criminally disposed of just makes it more obvious how those who own and organise the animal industrial complex are no more than heartless thugs, and society, and history, must move on from enabling them. There are many alternatives to eating animals, and they are far better for your health.