$50 death cheque angers union
The union representing a security guard killed on an Auckland construction site says it is appalled it has only now been sent a cheque for the dead man's earnings, almost a year after his death.
However, the company that employed Charanpreet Dhaliwal, CNE Security, has denied the accusation, saying the payment was made in good time and the union was now merely seeking publicity.
Dhaliwal, 22, was killed on his first night of work at a Henderson construction site last November. A man, who has been granted name suppression, has been charged with his murder.
Ellerslie-based CNE Security has been charged by the Labour Department with failing to secure Dhaliwal's safety.
The Council of Trade Unions is preparing a personal grievance claim against the security company, claiming unjustified disadvantage, president Helen Kelly said.
Kelly said she had received a cheque for $50 made out to Dhaliwal from CNE Security last Tuesday.
''I don't know what to do with it. I haven't been authorised to accept the payment and it's just been sent to me unsolicited,'' she said. ''I haven't got the heart to tell his mother, I'm working through the Sikh community and they're outraged.''
Kelly said there were number of discrepancies surrounding the cheque being sent to Dhaliwal.
"The employer never had any employment agreement with him, he was rung on the day and offered the work,'' she said.
''The employer first met him there at 10.30 at night and left him there, so he had never been paid, and suddenly I get this cheque.
''Who said Charanpreet would have accepted the minimum wage, he never had the chance to bargain, never got a chance to say what he would get paid, what hours has he been paid for...''
Kelly said Dhaliwal's had been '' the cheapest form of death''.
''This feels completely wrong that we can take a 21-year-old man's life, he gets no ACC because he hadn't worked yet and he can't sue,'' she said. ''And what does he get, he gets $50 and five cents. The whole thing is shonky.''
However, a CNE Security manager, who only gave the name Chris, said everything was done by the book and the cheque had been paid at the time of mediation.
He said Kelly was playing the situation for publicity.
"If I pay by cash, that woman Helen Kelly would have said I was giving him cash. She refused it because she wanted more publicity," he said
"And tax was paid, it was a seven hour shift and has been paid accordingly."
Chris referred all other comments to his lawyer.