Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back On The Chain Gang

You know the tv ad: good kiwi bloke takes back what’s rightfully ours - a plate of our bloody fine lamb - from the dining table of a bunch of Euro aristo-snobs (if not, here it is......).
The ad's for Silver Fern Farms, a nice bit of patriotic post-colonial NZ humour. You'd be forgiven for thinking Silver Fern actually has the well-being of the average kiwi at heart...or at least running alongside commercial reality.
But no: what that ad persuades us to believe, and what Silver Fern actually thinks, seem to be poles apart.
Workers at Silver Fern's Te Aroha meat works in the Waikato had their pay docked... for observing an official two-minute silence to remember the 29 men killed in the Pike River mine disaster!
When staff downed tools and observed the silence, as requested by the prime minister, they lost two cattle each from their daily quota: the equivalent of between 98c and $1.60 for each worker.
Ok, so it's only a few bucks from each man but, when Silver Fern actually encouraged workers to observe that respectful silence, and then took a claw-back from each pay packet, that really sucks! And it probably cost the wages department more to calculate the deduction than what was lost in productivity! Petty, pathetic, unpatriotic: that's Silver Fern Farms' actions in a nutshell.
Ironically, just two days after the two-minute silence, the meat works was destroyed by fire. Divine justice, some might say...but it also means 300+ good respectful hard-working kiwi blokes are out of jobs right before Christmas.
Think I'll just stick to getting my meat from The Mad Butcher...what about you?

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