Orchard workers in New Zealand win the right to potable water
IUF affiliate FIRST union was astounded to discover that workers employed in kiwi fruit orchards in the north of New Zealand had been denied access to clean drinking water. When workers requested drinking water they were told they could drink the irrigation water which is unfit for human consumption, from a tap situated next to toilets not connected to a sanitation system.
Turners and Growers, a subsidiary of the German based international trading and services group BayWa, initially responded to the union demand for drinkable water by defending its offer of irrigation water to its employees.
However the workers through their union insisted that the universal right to clean drinking water be respected and the company has since installed filters at five locations at the site.