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China to make RSA poppies


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Author Topic: China to make RSA poppies  (Read 221 times)
Magoo
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« on: December 10, 2010, 07:41:04 am »

I have bought a poppy every year and put it on my fathers grave.   I won't be doing it again.   





http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4442752/China-to-make-RSA-poppies

China to make RSA poppies
GILES BROWN - The Press
Last updated 05:00 10/12/2010

An "abhorrent" decision to produce Anzac Day poppies in China instead of Christchurch will hit the intellectually disabled and war widows employed to make them, says the city's RSA.

The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association said yesterday that Australian company Cash's had won the tender to make the poppies from 2012. The parts for 1.2 million poppies a year will be made in China and then assembled by workers across the ditch.

The move has outraged Christchurch RSA, which had held the contract since 1931, first employing war veterans and later people with disabilities.

President Russ Barron said the national body's decision was disgusting. "The New Zealand poppy is an icon, manufactured in New Zealand for New Zealanders."

The RSA employs about 20 workers at Kilmarnock Enterprises, which provides training and work for people with intellectual disabilites. War widows also helped out during peak production, Mr Barron said.

There were likely to be job losses at Kilmarnock Enterprises and Christchurch RSA.

The Christchurch RSA has made the poppies since 1931, when it took over from the Auckland branch.

"We've had a history of manufacturing a New Zealand product for New Zealanders," Barron said.

"It's rather upsetting that the New Zealand RSA have, through a tender process, gone to an Australian company using Chinese componentry.

"I believe the New Zealand public will not support the Australian, or Chinese poppy, as I call it.

"Grandfathers, fathers and sons who have died in the service of their country need something better and something that's from home.

"We can't compete on straight economics because we have to pay New Zealand wages, when the Chinese can pay whatever they want. From that point of view, we are not going to be in the same league."

Barron said he feared for the Kilmarnock Enterprises employees, who made about 1.3 million poppies each year.

"What's going to happen to these people? We also use our widows and we pay them and they are contracted to us," he said.

"Now our widows are being targeted through this Chinese poppy."

Vice-president Pete Dawson said some veterans had expressed disgust at the decision. "It's abhorrent. I've spoken to one or two vets today and they are shocked," he said.

The contract period will begin on May 1, and the Chinese poppies will be used for the first time in 2012.

Kilmarnock Enterprises chief executive Rosemary Carr said last night that the poppies provided job satisfaction and pride for up to 30 staff.


It made as much as $134,000 annually by producing the poppies, which represented up to 25 per cent of its total work.

She said she would break the news to employees today.

"It doesn't augur well for New Zealand. I think keeping money in New Zealand is so important, and something like that especially," Carr said.

Clarke said the decision would cut the cost margin of running the association's annual poppy appeal and mean $150,000 more was available for welfare programmes for veterans.

"People have to look at the bigger picture," he said.

The poppy appeal raised $2 million nationally this year.

"It's the same poppy and still involves the same investment in terms of remembrance of Anzac Day."

- with Kate Newton, The Dominion Post
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ssweetpea
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 08:06:53 am »

On TV3 last night they said the contract was going to an Australian company Huh
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 08:25:48 am »

An independent tender panel reviewed the quotes received and the RSA's National Executive Committee decided Australian company Cash's, who supply the Returned Services League across the Tasman, was the best offer, he said.

"Cash's (Australia) Pty Limited will therefore be the sole poppy supplier to the New Zealand RSA from 2012."

Dr Clarke told Campbell Live Cash's, who supply Australia's RSL, could produce the poppies for $100,000 less each year than Kilmarnock.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693304
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Magoo
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2010, 08:44:12 am »

It isn't about where they poppies are made in my opinion.  It is removing this work from the IHC people.    These people need work to help keep them focused and motivated.  They are unable to get regular jobs because of their disability and I happen to know that they take particular pride in the work (any work - even that which is below some people who would rather be on the dole than paid a pissy pittance ) that they do.     These are the people society needs to protect.
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2010, 09:03:56 am »

It isn't about where they poppies are made in my opinion.  It is removing this work from the IHC people.    These people need work to help keep them focused and motivated.  They are unable to get regular jobs because of their disability and I happen to know that they take particular pride in the work (any work - even that which is below some people who would rather be on the dole than paid a pissy pittance ) that they do.     These are the people society needs to protect.

I agree whole heartedly

I suspect that the rule change that forces employers of intellectually disabled people to be paid minimum wage rather than recieve a benefit with a top up for working are to blame.

Many disabled people have lost their much loved jobs because of this and are now in what amounts to daycare instead. Angry

Is this a case of the RSA deciding to support just their own charity rather than help financially support another.

I also have big questions around who is going to be making the poppies.

I wondered how an Australian company was going to manage to do it so much cheaper. I wondered if they were using subsidised workshops (i.e. sheltered workshops for Australian disabled people) as having them made in China even by an Australian owned company was something that I thought the RSA wouldn't stand for.

Has the RSA lost sight of a bigger picture?
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Magoo
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2010, 09:36:59 am »

Quote
Has the RSA lost sight of a bigger picture?
  I believe they have.  If they ¼ of the respect for the flag that they rattle on about then let the poppies be made in the shadow of it.
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Yak
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2010, 02:39:54 pm »

I was up in arms at this until the wife pointed out that it came about when some union or other took on the IHC [or whatever the hell they are called now] and forced them to pay the minimum wage..
Up to this point the handicapped head been enjoying doing things for a reasonable sum so as to keep them engaged in useful occupations.  Now they are employees on the aforsaid minimum wage, and as such have had themselves priced off the market.

Most people have forgotten this.
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Magoo
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2010, 04:08:59 pm »

Thanks for that info Yak.  I was unaware.
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dragontamer
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2010, 05:03:47 pm »

Problem is it isn't government agencies running the Special Needs workplaces.  It is private agencies.  And they are out to make a buck too.   That's why the union became involved. 

All these people making money off the IHC who just want to do what they do well.

There is no reason why a government agency couldn't and shouldn't handle it.  All qualify for a benefit and their wages are just top up. 

There is only so much independence they can manage.  Most have financial advisers as well, or at least someone who keeps an eye on the purse strings.

Somewhere along the way, Special Needs got turned into a freaken multi million dollar industry, where it should be a haven.

And by the by, I won't be buying the new poppies.  The amount saved is a drop in the bucket and means the difference to not only Special Needs, but a lot of widows and returned servicemen who also made the poppies in New Zealand.
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Magoo
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2010, 05:22:36 pm »

Quote
And by the by, I won't be buying the new poppies. 
  Me in all.
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 05:27:38 pm »

Quote
I suspect that the rule change that forces employers of intellectually disabled people to be paid minimum wage rather than recieve a benefit with a top up for working are to blame.

Many disabled people have lost their much loved jobs because of this and are now in what amounts to daycare instead.

I was up in arms at this until the wife pointed out that it came about when some union or other took on the IHC [or whatever the hell they are called now] and forced them to pay the minimum wage..
Up to this point the handicapped head been enjoying doing things for a reasonable sum so as to keep them engaged in useful occupations.  Now they are employees on the aforsaid minimum wage, and as such have had themselves priced off the market.

Most people have forgotten this.

I hadn't forgotten, that is why I wondered if that was behind the cost rise. The former seltered workshops either have to compete against businesses who don't employ disabled people or shut up shop. Many have done the later.

Why do you think I am concerned that my girl may end up sitting on a benefit?

Mind you she is doing well enough a present that she may be able to pass some of NCEA when the time comes. Her school report wasn't that good except of the technology subjects and I have just recieved and invite to the end or year prize giving so she is getting some sort of certificate or award.

I doubt I will be buying a poppy either - unless I can confirm the ones in Auckland are made in NZ.
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2010, 08:22:49 pm »

I was up in arms at this until the wife pointed out that it came about when some union or other took on the IHC [or whatever the hell they are called now] and forced them to pay the minimum wage..
Up to this point the handicapped head been enjoying doing things for a reasonable sum so as to keep them engaged in useful occupations.  Now they are employees on the aforsaid minimum wage, and as such have had themselves priced off the market.

Most people have forgotten this.


And why shouldn't the intellectually-handicapped enjoy the same minimum rights as other workers?

The answer is not to treat them as cheap labour, but instead for them to receive the minimum wage, but also for the government to subsidise their wages.
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dragontamer
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2010, 09:12:09 pm »

I'm having an idea, but for the life of me can't spit out exactly what I mean.     Angry

I hate it when I do that lol.

It involves the likes of Churches and such who have no tax.  Taxing them on all but the monies they use to support and employ Special Needs/ Elderly etc, but being strictly administered so that good old Pastor Brian can't invest huge amounts into looking after his grandma and getting the tax breaks, while neglecting the real people in need.

**Sigh**

It's a work in progress...... you thunk about it.....
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Yak
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2010, 09:48:59 pm »

And why shouldn't the intellectually-handicapped enjoy the same minimum rights as other workers?

The answer is not to treat them as cheap labour, but instead for them to receive the minimum wage, but also for the government to subsidise their wages.

[1] No reason at all.
They just have to suffer the consequences of entering the real world, thats all.
I personally would pay a bit extra for the poppy to see the IH continue the manufacture.  However, the RSA has made a business decision, based on the cost  They will just have to suffer the consequences of this decision also - assuming there will be any.

[2] And why should the taxpayer subsidise their wages?
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Ferney
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2010, 09:52:04 pm »

I think its a bit tough to blame China.  Its Oz that is making the poppies so why aren't you sticking the knife into Oz.  China are only making the parts, which is no different to half of what you buy that is NZ made anyway.

I think its quite possible that the Sheltered W/shops  priced themselves out of the market in some areas because I can go back 12 years when they upped their prices to a printing company in Christchurch and the work was sent to the companies Auckland factory (as the end customer was in Ak) to
find someone to do this particular order urgently.
 
The first order after the Workshops lost it,  I ended up doing, after the student friend of my sons that I got the work for originally found it too boring!   I did the work at home at night and it was putting  adhesive labels on bread bags.    I don't know what the Workshop wanted for the work but it must have been quite high as the $1700 I got worked out to be well paid for the number of hours it took.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2010, 11:36:07 pm »

And why shouldn't the intellectually-handicapped enjoy the same minimum rights as other workers?

The answer is not to treat them as cheap labour, but instead for them to receive the minimum wage, but also for the government to subsidise their wages.

[1] No reason at all.
They just have to suffer the consequences of entering the real world, thats all.
I personally would pay a bit extra for the poppy to see the IH continue the manufacture.  However, the RSA has made a business decision, based on the cost  They will just have to suffer the consequences of this decision also - assuming there will be any.

[2] And why should the taxpayer subsidise their wages?


Well, I guess there's three choices here....


1. Exploit people who are handicapped/disabled through no fault of their own and treat them as third-class citizens.

2. Pay them a benefit to sit around and do nothing.

3. Subsidise employers to pay them the minimum wage and have them doing something useful with their lives while not treating them as third-class citizens.


Now I certainly know which of those three options I would consider to be the best for all concerned.



However, back to the RSA as seen by cartoonists who have hit the nail right on the head....





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If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 

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