By Carolyne Meng-Yee
A firm has shouted its workers pizza, celebrating the anniversary of a senior staffer quitting after the boss allegedly called him a “f ****** sniveller”.
This week’s function came days after Andar Holdings agreed a confidential settlement with a manager who also said she had been verbally abused by the same boss.
Despite being ordered to pay $94,000 to the first employee by the Employment Relations Authority, and then agreeing to pay thousands more to a second one, Andar Holdings managing director Gary Cross remained defiant.
He told the Herald on Sunday he was appealing the authority’s order, and described himself as an “excellent boss”.
The Herald on Sunday understands former manager Ruth Lassen has confidentially settled a grievance over Cross’s behaviour. Prior to the settlement, Lassen told the Herald on Sunday Cross abused her in a phone call: “I don’t pay you to f****** talk, I don’t f******* pay you to have meetings, I f****** pay you to work.”
Cross first hit the headlines a month ago after he called an engineer a “f****** sniveller”, prompting the Employment Relations Authority to make a $94,000 order in favour of the employee, James Irvine.
Irvine, who objected to staff members using social club funds to buy pizzas to take home, said after the ordeal that he was considering leaving NZ.
Irvine’s advocate Michael Guest said Cross had appealed the ERA decision this week.
Yet Guest said the abuse had continued. On Wednesday, Timaru-based Andar Holdings hosted a function for staff which Guest said was to celebrate the anniversary of Irvine’s departure. A social club notice posted in the workplace promised a “No more SNIVELLING About Pizzas” lunch shout.
Guest said: “I treat the firm with contempt for continuing the abuse. The notice uses the word ‘sniveller’and the words ‘a year on’. There are clearly links between the words in the notice with the words in the ERA judgment.”
Cross told the Herald on Sunday he didn’t post the notice and didn’t know anything about it. When asked if he was embarrassed about hurling abuse at staff, Cross said: “I have no regrets at all. I consider myself to be an excellent boss. I manage up to 150 staff. Not all are happy day-to-day, but most are. Are you happy with your boss every day?”
Copyright 2012, nzherald.co.nz
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