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Tim Hanna reports that the forces against the disabled workers at Invercargill’s SdE have attempted to get rid of them, again.
‘When Sir Tim Shadbolt defeated moves in the Invercargill City Council to fire SdE and the 82 disabled workers who currently recycle the cities waste, the vast number of Southlanders who support the workers breathed a sigh of relief.
It seemed their jobs were safe, at least in the short term. However they did not know just how short that term might be.
The mayor of Southland, Gary Tong, has been advocating insistently in favour of replacing SdE with a North Island company who stand credibly accused of wide spread criminal fraud. Despite the unsavory allegations against that company and despite the fact that Tong has yet to substantiate any of his vague accusations against SdE he has been tireless in his campaign against them. He has ignored a petition signed by over 26,000 Southlanders who want the workers to keep their jobs and he has managed to persuade his own council and Gore Council to support him.
It was only Invercargill’s holdout, thanks to Sir Tim’s use of his casting vote, that kept the workers safe in their jobs.
But the forces that oppose the workers within the three councils were apparently not done. Late this week some Invercargill’s councilors suddenly attached a proposal to the agenda to again discuss the SdE contract at their final meeting next Tuseday night. It was only after SdE’s lawyer Rex Chapman objected to the plan, pointing out that it was illegal for a council to make such a decision at their final meeting prior to an election, that the matter was withdrawn.
I am appalled that elected councilors continue to ignore the 26,000 Southlanders and counting who have signed a petition to retain the services of SdE and their workers.
I am also appalled at their tactics. The last time they tried to get rid of SdE they thought that Sir Tim was away and they were visibly shocked when he walked in to the meeting. He is currently in Japan and they perhaps counted on him not being there on this occasion.
Shame on all of them.