Following revelations that part-time nurse Selina Eruera was unable to pay for a headstone for her son Eramiha after the company he was working for liquidated and avoided reparations, the Council of Trade Unions yesterday launched a fundraising drive in his memory. CTU Secretary Sam Huggard said that the $6,000 raised overnight would not make up for the loss of Eramiha or the $75,000 the owners have refused to deliver, but he hoped it was a step towards justice.
“Eramiha’s death and his mother’s heartache was preventable, he was working in an unsafe environment without support and that’s why the judge ordered $75,000 family reparation plus a $25,000 fine,” Mr Huggard said. “But the financial suffering Selina has endured should also be preventable – the owners are still successfully trading under another company with no sign of meeting their obligation to her. Justice for people killed at work and their families shouldn’t rely on charity.”
“You know we’ve been let down by so many people, the company owners, Worksafe, the justice system,” Selina Eruera said today on hearing of the donations. “We’ve been struggling for justice for my boy for so long that it feels like it’ll never come, the response to what has happened makes it feel like less of a lonely fight. It’s good to be reminded that there are still decent people out there, it gives me some hope.”
“Following recent cases of companies like this forestry case and Five Boroughs restaurant appearing to flout the ‘phoenix’ laws by liquidating to avoid their responsibilities to redundant staff, to the taxpayer, and for health and safety failures, we think it’s time we looked closely at loopholes” said Mr Huggard. “We’re calling on the Government to review the circumstances under which company directors and owners can escape their responsibility to others by liquidating, and the support that’s available for staff, family and creditors left in the lurch.”
People who want to support Selina and her family are able to make a donation to Eramiha’s memory here: https://together.nationbuilder.com/eramiha_donate