Fletcher Building’s attempt to underpay workers during the lockdown by proposing progressive reductions in income over
the twelve weeks of the Government’s subsidy is appalling behaviour from a major employer and represents the worst kind
of wage theft from workers, FIRST Union said today.
"A company the size of Fletcher Building, with its lucrative Government contracts and massive shareholder dividends,
trying to protect its profit margins by underpaying workers during this crisis is completely reprehensible in every
sense," said Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
"Fletcher made $164m in profit last year in New Zealand, so when they feign concern for their long-term sustainability,
they’re really talking about protecting corporate profits and not the longevity of their workforce."
"If Fletcher won’t pass on a subsidy intended for workers in the way it was designed, they should not be receiving
further Government contracts - it’s a dereliction of duty from a company who’ve grown and profited from their
relationship with Government and involvement in significant infrastructural projects."
"Guess what - workers are the essential infrastructure of Fletcher Building as a company, and if their wages are stolen
and they’re driven to poverty, the company will never truly recover after the pandemic."
"We are calling on Fletcher to pay workers the full allowance for the wage subsidy as their intentions so far are not
in-keeping with the requirements of receiving Government assistance."
"We have written to the company- and will be discussing the matter with Government over the coming days - workers will
not tolerate this."
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.