For 18 months a pawn broker has been using legal tricks to avoid having to turn up to a meeting with our union and explain his dishonest behaviour. The Employment Relations Authority has finally directed James Delmont to meet with the union to answer for his illegal actions.

Delmont will have to explain why he sacked two workers after a staff meeting at the beginning of the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

At this meeting, Delmont told all employees they were to take all their accrued holiday leave and that he was compulsorily reducing their hours. Two older women with families questioned his right to do this without discussing it with affected workers first and considering other options.

By law, they were right. He couldn’t do that. The government paid employers the $580 wage subsidy for their workers on the basis they kept them on.

Within days of the meeting Delmont announced a redundancy process, but just for those two workers – not for the other 36 staff. Unsurprisingly, he told them they were to be made redundant because Covid-19 was forcing him to cut costs. No one for a minute believed that.

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Initially, he promised them some of the wage subsidy in lieu of redundancy pay. Two days later Delmont told them he had found out employers weren’t required to give employees any of the subsidy. In fact, it seemed he could keep all the Covid-19 money without any strings attached.

Clearly, Delmont hadn’t heard the prime minister say that we are a team of five million, and that she trusted employers to use the subsidy to keep their workers at work. When Ardern smiles radiantly and asks us all to be kind, these creatures see an opportunity to steal free money. It seems the nanny state is fine when it’s at the workers expense. At the time, hundreds, if not thousands, of employers got away with stealing the wage subsidy money from desperate workers. I remember taking calls from many devastated victims.

Where this guy made a mistake was when he claimed the redundancy process was undertaken for all employees. It wasn’t. On that lie alone it became an open and shut sacking case. His lie fell apart completely when he advertised these two women’s jobs the following month on SEEK.

When he was caught telling these lies, he went into hiding. He didn’t answer calls or emails. For 18 months he has used tricks and gameplaying to avoid having to front. He knows he’s a thief and a liar. He’s also gutless.

Delmont is a rich boy from the leafy suburbs. You can tell what he is just by his photo. His parents own the company. You know this type. This about two brown working class woman calling him out in front of all the other workers. Worse for him, they were right, and showed up his ignorance. He retaliated with petty spite.

The women say since they were dismissed they have received dozens of stories from current and former employees on the outright dishonesty and corrupt practices carried out by Delmont and his pawn broking business. Ugh!

We were always prepared to reach a fair outcome for these workers. Clearly, it’s not in Delmont’s character to consider that. I presume that’s because his whole life is about taking advantage of other people, so why would he stop now?

Delmont has to attend a meeting on 27 May. If he doesn’t apologise and give these women the money he was supposed to give them in the first place, then I will ask you to join me on a picket line outside his house.

I want his parents to know what a spoilt and nasty child they have raised. Time to step up for justice. Put your name down for the UTU squad below.

Join the UTU squad (hold a placard) 

Sign our petition online (prosecute criminal exploiters)

Donate (support our work)

Matt McCarten is the National Director of the UTU for Workers Union. 



  1. The problem with many of the governments corporate welfare hands outs it that they are based on trust of business. That business trust is baseless, clearly most businesses are incentivised for short term profits and run their businesses according under neoliberals rules. The government was stupid not to put in criteria that meant it had to be paid to the employees themselves.

    The only good thing government did, was make it transparent so that people could look up and judge businesses that took the subsidy (and to be fair, nobody knew in the early days of Covid what would happen) and didn’t meet the criteria and that is why many businesses paid the wage subsidy money back.

    The other stupid thing the government did with the wage subsidies was not to put a cap on it. Originally it was $150k and then business aked them to take the cap off, thus you had many wealthy businesses claiming millions of dollars. The wage subsidy should not have been paid to businesses in the first place, but to all NZ citizens and permanent residents who had an IRD number only! Like a Universal Basic Income.

  2. To free up NZ courts like ERA and make it easier for everyone, there should be minimum redundancy payments so that people don’t have to go court over redundancy.

    I’m in favour of no fault redundancy, as long as they pay the workers out, and it is not to do with covering up wrongdoing or corporate mismanagement.

    AKA redundancy payment of 2 weeks wages for under 6 months work, 4 weeks wages for 1 year of work, and then 2 weeks of wages for each year after that, with a cap of a years salary.

    It would actually be cheaper and easier for both business and workers if there was a set compulsory redundancy rate, so people don’t have to go to court over it, and the fake redundancy ‘process’ of consultation that just put’s money into lawyer and consultants pockets, not workers, is finally ended.

    Face it, people are being stripped out of work mostly for personal reasons which are often despicable. AKA the whistleblowers in the Joanne Harrison case were made redundant after questioning her invoices. Sounds like these ladies spoke out at the Pawn shop over the wage subsidies, and then, surprise, surprise, were made redundant.

    The companies then re-advertise the jobs weeks later.

    Where the current redundancy process falls down, is that the amount of compensation is often low and the court process long and expensive.

    This employer might be caught out, but big businesses mostly use lawyers and consultants to manage the ‘restructuring’ process and often get away with exactly the same thing as this pawn shop owner. Unfair redundancy is not something that if going on for the ‘poor brown workers’ but ALL workers and in both public and private sector.

    Simply, bean counter businesses, mangerarial pettiness, rotten employers and neoliberalism are incentivised to make people redundant and that is why workers in NZ are being made redundant so often, and fairing so poorly after redundancy compared to other countries.

    Big read: Why being made redundant in NZ is so tough

    “Axed over the Christmas break, told to be out by lunchtime after 50 years’ loyalty – this is redundancy in New Zealand, where there’s no mandatory notice period or compensation payments and little support for those searching for new work,”

    The other thing about redundancy, is that it if often not the workers fault in any way, for tax reasons business are often being deliberately run down to neoliberal principles. AKA Rod Oram did an expose about what really happened with the Cadbury closure with the parent company piling it up with debts.

    • Govt Depts can be just as bad with ‘redundancies.’ In my brief time as union delegate in a shonky govt dept, I queried the manager about a new bright young man being ‘ let go’ , and I was told that he was surplus to requirements. Four – six weeks later, his position was refilled. I had already checked the back story. The other two more senior PSA delegates were not interested as the lad wasn’t a union member and they disliked me.

      He arrived at work without his entry swipe card, so borrowed another. Everyone did that. His service manager – who I later took a successful PG against – saw him returning the borrowed card and publicly ripped him to bits. He asked her not to speak to him that way in front of other people. He lost his job. The service manager was known to be a vindictive bully, and I think that management were intimidated by her too.

      In this case, I think the young guy was in his first job, maybe a recent grad, and losing that job after little more than weeks, annihilated him – everyone there got employed on temporary contacts, but that practice was stopped – then. I daresay the employee ended up on the dole – got categorised as one of Bill English’s useless young Kiwi males.

  3. As guardians of tax payer money i would have expected that like the system in place for welfare and hospital budgets where many people suffer at the hands of these cruel organisations that surely Robertson and his well remunerated bureaucratic minions would have set this up properly and made sure the allocation of vast sums of money was tightly controlled ?
    Seeing the parasite featured here is just another clear case of socialism for the rich and market capitalism for the ladies treated so badly and the many thousands of other economic refugees in the land of kindness.
    The Belmont’s like the many other parasites in godzone have been encouraged to exploit and behave in this way for thirty plus years thanks to weak law and corruption to ensure the system in New Zealand stays exactly where it is now.

  4. Brother and Sisters, I’m dropping a note here because I know people who read or write the comments are engaged in the working class struggle for justice.
    As I write this, we are at 197 for our anti-exploitation petition. Can you get us to 200 today?
    Also, we have had 9 generous online donations from our website totalling $530 in just this week. My aim is $1000. Every dollars fuels the movement – big and small.
    If you can help, go to – or click on the donate and petition above.
    Kia Kaha. Matt

  5. Exploitation = The government charging a renter tax that it uses to pay to another renter as a rental top up payment that then goes directly to a slumlord parasite. The slumlord parasite takes that money and uses it to help buy another rental, pushing prices up and further locking the renters out of home ownership. The slumlord parasite also recieves massive tax free capital gain and massive reductions in their mortgage due to governments manipulation of interest rates? So they put the rent up? The government is exploiting the poor. The government is making the rich richer. The LABOUR government is doing this? A party I naively voted for? I will never ever vote again…. I was a Turkey who voted for christmas. Who is Jacinda Ardern anyhow?

    • You are another hate Jacinda Tory – not an ex-Labour voter. You call a multi-home owner a mum & dad investor instead of a speculator receiving tax subsidies. Speculators benefit no one except themselves and help in raising house prices.
      Who is Jacinda – she is the one who took advice from the scientists instead of Qnon conspirators and has made Aotearoa the safest and free-est country in the world. So you right wingers – Rejoice and enjoy that freedom.

      • The Tories would be even worse if that is possible…. now answer that in a non darlic sounding brainwashed voice genius.

  6. This is outrageous!

    Those poor workers. I hope your going to put that truck outside his house and tell the whole neighborhood.

    We need these scumbags removed from our communities!

    Kiakaha UTU.


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