Two mothers sacked just before Christmas

As many mothers across the country frantically finish their Christmas preparations, two mothers are left contemplating how they will provide for their families after being sacked by AFFCO Talley’s.

This year the company has featured regularly in the media following a series of confrontations with staff. Yesterday two mothers were fired from the Rangiuru branch in Te Puke.

Bertie Ratu and Sharmaine Takai, who are both union delegates, lost their jobs yesterday after they visited the AFFCO Talley’s Rangiuru meatworks to help fellow union members.

“The delegates were dismissed because they went to work to calm union members upset about unfair treatment and tempers were getting short,” says Darien Fenton of the NZ Meat Workers Union. 

Ratu has worked for the company for over 15 years and prior to her sacking she was on suspension after voicing her concerns on Facebook over the treatment of workers.

“I was informed by the company that my visit to the Rangiuru branch breached Health and Safety policies,” says Ratu, from Te Aupouri.

Her efforts to support her former colleagues have left her unemployed and she’s found it difficult to tell her family the news.

“I’ve told my partner and our children the news but I don’t have the heart to tell my mother yet. She’s 88-years old and only just moved in with us. I don’t want her to worry, so I’ve told her I’m just on holiday.”

“Sacking workers for spurious reasons three days before Xmas highlights the difference between one of New Zealand’s wealthiest families and their workforce,” says Darien Fenton.

Te Kāea contacted AFFCO Talley’s for a comment but are yest to respond.