Tachikawa will pay workers

By Rebecca Malcolm

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Brian Pohatu lost his job of five years, and it still looking for work. The Christmas payout will be a big help for them.
Brian Pohatu lost his job of five years, and it still looking for work. The Christmas payout will be a big help for them.

Tachikawa workers have been told they will get a payout before Christmas - although it won't be the full amount.

The receivers of the troubled sawmill have told First Union they will receive an initial payment of 43 cents in the dollar before Christmas, and a further payout early in the New Year. That amount hasn't yet been finalised. Tachikawa Forest Products was placed into receivership in October, affecting more than 120 workers.

The news of the pre-Christmas payout came as workers got together to attend a special whanau day on Saturday arranged by Apumoana Marae, local hapu and the union.

First Union general secretary Robert Reid said the news was appreciated by workers.

In a receivership situation workers were entitled to wages, holiday pay and redundancy compensation as preferential creditors, up to the current maximum amount of $20,340 in receivership law.

For Tachikawa workers owed this maximum amount, the weekend's announcement meant they would soon be receiving around $8000 before tax.

The receiver agreed with a union request to pay redundancy first, as the receipt of redundancy pay would have no effect on any unemployment benefit from Work and Income, Mr Reid said. Among those affected by the closure were Brian Pohatu and his partner, Ashley Mosen, after Mr Pohatu lost his job of five years.

Ms Mosen hadn't heard about the payout before being contacted by the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday, but said she'd like to see the details before getting too excited.

"I'd like to see it to believe it."

Ms Mosen said her partner was still looking for a job but hadn't had any success so far.

She said any payout before Christmas would be a big help.

- ROTORUA DAILY POST

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