Axed over the Christmas break, told to be out by lunchtime after 50 years’ loyalty – this is redundancy in New Zealand, where there’s no mandatory notice period or compensation payments and little support for those searching for new work, writes Kate Newton. It’s mid-winter at the bottom of the southern hemisphere and Jason Welch is wearing jandals, shorts and a t-shirt. He’s a big man, with a sleeve tattoo on his right arm, but above him, the shuttered Cadbury factory is a behemoth. It dominates an entire block in Dunedin’s low-rise downtown and on this fading winter evening, the four-storey concrete facade, painted the colour of milk, glows orange. As traffic rushes behind him on the one-way heading north, he squints up: “What a waste.” For 19 years, Welch was a Cadbury worker, clocking in each afternoon for the evening shift. Starting off on the packing line, over the years he gleaned the skills needed to operate the machinery, which ingested nothing special but, through an alchemic process, churned out chocolate bars and blocks and Pineapple Lumps and Jaffas and mountains of Rose’s chocolates glistening in kaleidoscopic foil. He points out where everything was: the workers’ entrance set into… Read full this story
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