bidfood truck, employee leaning on it

The Employment Relations Authority has found Bidfood New Zealand failed to inform its employees that FIRST Union had started bargaining.

FIRST Union Transport Logistics and Manufacturing Secretary Jared Abbott explained there had been complaints about Bidfood management pressuring staff not to join a union. "When international companies come to New Zealand, they need to realise that they have to comply with New Zealand's laws," he said.

The company is one of New Zealand’s largest wholesale food delivery businesses, and is the local arm of multinational company Bidvest. Under New Zealand law, companies are required to negotiate with a union once they initiate bargaining. The ERA’s determination stated that Bidfood refused to start bargaining with the union when first contacted.

According to the ERA, Bidfood ignored a letter from the union stating it wanted to negotiate a collected agreement, a letter the company has stated was invalid notice due to it being sent to the Auckland branch, not the national office.