Former Tachikawa workers confront management

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Over sixty former Tachikawa workers along with their families and members of the FIRST union marched before the officers of Hancock Forest Management today demanding answers after a standstill during negotiations for their final pay out. 

Tachikawa Mill based in Rotorua went into receivership last month and all parties want a piece of the pie. 

They marched together wit a unified purpose, to confront the management of Hancock Forest.

However, only one member from Hancock Forest management faced the crowd today, after claims they may be holding up the former Tachikawa workers' pay out.

Bill McCallum of Hancock Forest Management says, “Hancock has not made a claim against the assets of Tachikawa which would in any way give Hancock preference to any assets over and above the claims of the employees their full entitlements and the bank.”

A letter was presented to Hancock Forest Management from the union alleging they are one of the four log suppliers holding up the process for former workers to receive their redundancies. Hancocks vehemently denied this accusation.

Syd Keepa of First Union says, “the pressure that both the workers and the union have put on them to front up and tell them to pull their claim of, I think they may have a change of mind about that.”

Over 80 members that worked at Tachikawa are under FIRST Union, the closing of the mill last month affected 130 workers in total, 95 per cent of the workers are Māori.  The message today was clear they weren't going to back down.

First Union believe that they have started a chain reaction of events with the hope of getting answers to their members by this afternoon whether they will get a $10,000 pay out before Christmas or not.