10 Apr 2016

Christchurch meat worker was unfairly dismissed - ERA

4:35 pm on 10 April 2016

A meat worker who was sacked for not wanting to work on Saturdays, has been found to have been unfairly dismissed.

The Employment Relations Authority has ordered the meat worker be paid compensation and unpaid wages.

Jake Sim, a meat worker at South Pacific Meats in Christchurch, was working 55 hours a week at the plant, including Saturdays.

He told his employer he wouldn't continue to work on Saturdays and was summarily dismissed.

South Pacific Meats said his contract required Saturday work, and that some of his emails had brought the company into disrepute.

Employment Relations Authority member Christine Hickey ruled that the company hadn't given Mr Sim enough opportunity to explain his actions, or considered his reasons sufficiently.

She's ordered the company to pay $6000 in compensation, plus two weeks of unpaid wages, but Mr Sim would not get his job back.

Meatworkers Union regional secretary Bill Watt said there had been 31 findings against South Pacific Meats' two plants in Burhnam and Bluff since 2010.

"I think it's a particular management style, if anybody speaks out against the management, they seem to be summarily dismissed or punished."

Mr Watt said he expected there would be more decisions against South Pacific Meats in the next few months.