July 30, 2018
Taharoa stands up against new mine manager
Workers and landowners at a remote ironsand mine on the Waikato west coast are being pitted against each other as the mine’s new management tries to change terms and conditions.
The Taharoa mine was bought last year from New Zealand Steel by a consortium of the landowners, Taharoa C Incorporation, and Melrose Capital, whose principal Wayne Coffey has the management contract.
E Tu organiser Joe Gallagher says Mr Coffey’s refusal to negotiate fairly led to the union issuing a notice its members will stop work on August 24.
He says management wants to take away conditions such as the shopping days that are vital to residents in the remote community, and to end a policy of employing local whanau.
"What we are seeking to do is to keep and maintain our terms and conditions because the mine is the heart of the community so this is more than just about a collective agreement. This is about trying to take away an established agreement which would really have a detrimental effect on the community of Taharoa," Mr Gallagher says.
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