Over 100 workers have lost their jobs and are set to be out of pocket, as Auckland printing company Ovato goes into liquidation.
Ovato NZ announced its closure earlier this year. However, outstanding debts to the IRD mean that workers may only end up receiving the statutory cap of $25,480, no matter how much they owe.
Workers have outstanding wages, leave, and notice payments owed to them. There is also a claim for unpaid wages from the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020.
E tū Negotiation Specialist Joe Gallagher says that workers are really feeling the pressure.
“Through no fault of their own, Ovato’s workers are faced with the prospect of losing money that is rightfully theirs,” says Joe.
“It’s hard enough to make ends meet during this cost of living crisis. Without money that they’ve already earned, things are looking really tough for these workers.
“Ovato should be pulling out all the stops to make sure that their workers are looked after properly, first and foremost. The workers have kept the company going for all these years – the company must pay out in full.”
Joe says that this insecurity shows why the proposed New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme is so important.
“It’s not fair that workers are bearing the brunt of this development. People can have the best redundancy provisions in the world, but it doesn’t mean much if there isn’t the money to pay it out.
“Instead, E tū strongly supports the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme (NZIIS), so that there is a universal mechanism to make sure workers have enough money to make ends meet when faced with job insecurity.
“It might be too late for the workers at Ovato, but we need to make sure the NZIIS is developed and implemented as quickly as possible to reduce workers facing such hardships in the future.”
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