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KEVIN Soonckindt and Viviana Clavijo Asencio say they worked for as little as $7.50 and $5.93 per hour, respectively, while in the employ of an Opotiki kiwifruit contractor.

Photo Sven Carlsson OB1716-01

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Backpackers tangled in kiwifruit whine

COMMUNICATION problems and misunderstandings are cited as the reason 15 foreign workers are unhappy with an Opotiki horticultural contractor.

The seven Uruguayans and eight French backpackers say they have been underpaid by a kiwifruit contractor, which the Opotiki News has chosen not to name, and their attempts to clarify pay rates have been met with aggression.

The Uruguay group said they had been working for the contractor for two weeks and one day, and were initially told they would be paid $17 per hour.

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