Author: E tū

IDEA bargaining update

Dear IDEA members,

IDEA Services Support and admin bargaining kicked off this week with two full days of negotiations.  In we September endorsed the push for full time jobs and a fairer process to deal with the challenge of service reviews.  Also high on the agenda is making sure staff are safe at work and sorting pay relativities for senior staff as well as equal pay for admin and supervisory staff. E tū delegates want a short term agreement to ensure any  changes are the right ones, but so far IDEA says it wants the full 12 months.

More talks are scheduled for November 13th with nationwide report back meetings due before Christmas.

E tū ecstatic as we welcome a Labour-led Government

E tū says it is ecstatic after confirmation tonight that E tū member Jacinda Ardern is our next Prime Minister.

E tū is the country’s biggest private sector union, with more than 55,000 members, and is a Labour Party affiliate.

E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says our members will be celebrating tonight, in expectation of a better deal for working families.

“Our members supported change; they have campaigned for change, and they voted for change and they will be ecstatic about this outcome.

“Our members made a huge commitment to this election campaign, in workplaces, in their communities, and in their families; talking to their workmates, hitting the phones to promote change and pounding the streets getting out the vote.

“Tonight’s vote is a vindication of that effort and the values behind it – a fair deal for working people and a fairer distribution of the country’s wealth.”

John also noted Winston Peters’ acknowledgement that New Zealanders voted for change, and says E tū supports the NZ First leader’s assertion that today “the country has the change it needs”.

E tū also campaigned for the Green Party and John says he is looking forward to learning the details of the agreements between the three parties; Labour, the Green Party, and New Zealand First.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

John Ryall E tū Assistant National Secretary ph. 027 520 1380

E tū bitterly disappointed over demise of Kiwi-made Cadbury

The union, E tū is highly critical of the decision by Mondelez International to move all production of Cadbury products from its Dunedin production plant to Australia.

E tū’s Director of Industries, Neville Donaldson says the decision will be bitterly disappointing for the more than 300 Dunedin workers who will lose their jobs.

“Mondelez has shown no compunction about closing a very profitable factory in Dunedin at the cost of quality, full-time jobs for New Zealand workers,” says Neville.

“There are companies which would have given their right arm to be able to run the Cadbury factory and enjoy the profits it was making when the decision was made to close, he says.

Mondelez had said some local production of iconic kiwi brands might continue if it found a suitable manufacturer, but today said that wasn’t possible.

However, Neville says the union is sceptical about whether Mondelez ever intended to find an alternative local manufacturer.

“We do question whether there was a genuine effort to keep that work here.  What was that exercise really about? Was it about trying to keep 10 percent of that production in New Zealand – or was it really about brand-protection and easing public anger over this closure?

“We had hoped for better, but it’s no surprise things have turned out as they have, given Mondelez’s record overseas,” says Neville.

Neville says New Zealand consumers might now want to consider where they spend their money when it comes to a sweet treat.

“The question is, will they support Mondelez moving its operation overseas at the cost of Kiwi jobs, or should they buy Kiwi-made products and support jobs for Kiwi workers?”

Neville says Dunedin has lost more than 800 full-time, well-paid manufacturing jobs in recent years with the closure of the Hillside Railway workshops, Fisher and Paykel, Sealord and now Cadbury.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Neville Donaldson E tū Director of Industries ph. 027 543 5312

E tū welcomes Emirates’ exit from most trans-Tasman services

E tū, the union for aviation workers has welcomed today’s announcement by Emirates that it is dropping flights out of Auckland to Melbourne and Brisbane.

The announcement follows Emirates decision earlier this year to cease its service between Auckland and Sydney.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Kelvin Ellis says he expects local cabin crew to benefit as other airlines expand their trans-Tasman capacity.

“Emirates doesn’t employ local cabin crew. It flies its staff in and out of New Zealand. So, we expect this should provide greater opportunities for New Zealand-based cabin crew,” says Kelvin.

“We’re hopeful that as Air New Zealand and Qantas subsidiary, Jet Connect expand their trans-Tasman operations, the result will be more work for cabin crew based in Auckland.

“So, this should be good for jobs,” he says.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis E tū Head of Aviation ph. 027 598 5735

E tū commends NZ Post on Paxster safety moves

E tū says it welcomes the safety-first response by NZ Post to a problem with its fleet of Paxster vehicles, which are used to deliver mail and parcels.

NZ Post has pulled the Paxsters from the road after finding a fault with a component part of the vehicles’ shock absorbers.

This week NZ Post will be using alternative means of mail delivery while the vehicles are repaired.

E tū Industry Coordinator, Joe Gallagher says NZ Post has taken a precautionary approach to the problem to ensure workers are safe, which is to be applauded.

“The safety of workers is critical and it’s a big decision which will see some disruption to services, mostly in urban areas,” says Joe.

“We commend the board over its responsible approach to the issue.”

Joe says the union is engaging with NZ Post to ensure workers’ incomes are not affected and that service disruption is minimised.

ENDS

For more information, contact;

Joe Gallagher E tū Industry Coordinator ph. 027 591 0015

At least 61 seats in the House for transformative politics

Even before the Special Votes have been counted, there is a majority in the house for real change in New Zealand politics.

While the election result on Saturday night didn’t deliver an outright majority for a change of Government, a majority of New Zealanders voted against a status quo that has seen the rich get richer while living standards for the rest of us stagnate or decline.

There are many policies and positions that Labour, the Greens, and New Zealand First are proud to fight for. They include:

  • a significant rise in the minimum wage
  • a commitment to pay the Living Wage to workers in all core public services including those employed by contractors
  • the rejection of the National Party’s pay equity bill which would make it harder for women to take equal pay claims
  • 26 weeks paid parental leave
  • better access to education for young people and people who need to retrain in a changing world of work
  • opposition to asset sales
  • making sure that trade agreements do not restrict our sovereignty
  • stopping the exploitation of migrant workers which creates a ‘race to the bottom’ in wages and conditions as a competitive advantage for employers
  • ending the casualisation of our workforce which allows employers to exploit vulnerable workers
  • ending the discriminatory ‘starting out wage’ which allows bosses to underpay young workers even if they have the same responsibilities as others
  • revitalising our regions through proper economic development and improved infrastructure.

We now wait upon New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to decide to move the country forwards, not backwards, for working people and our communities. Mr Peters ran a clear campaign for change and we hope he will honour the voters who put their faith in him to make the right decision for New Zealand.

Government and Refining NZ to blame for “chaos” at airports

E tū Aviation says it’s appalled the Government and Refining New Zealand have no plan B for disruption to the crucial fuel line between Marsden Point and the rest of the country.

“The result has been days of disruption, with flights cancelled and the plans of thousands of travellers thrown into chaos,” says E tū Aviation spokesperson Kelvin Ellis.

Kelvin says airlines have been dealing with the situation “brilliantly” with strong support for its workforce who are bearing the brunt of abuse from a frustrated public.

“Airlines have plans for this sort of event and they’re doing well looking after their workers.”

But he says the situation has exposed the vulnerability of the country’s sole aviation fuel link.

“It’s incredible neither the Government nor Refining New Zealand have a back-up plan. This is vital infrastructure in a country which depends on tourism, and where people travel constantly.

“To have allowed a situation like this to develop is appalling. The Government can pass the buck onto Refining New Zealand, and shrug off responsibility. But the vulnerability of that line was flagged years ago. There should have been contingency plans.

“It’s just further evidence of the failure of the Government’s “hands-off” approach to key infrastructure which has allowed this situation to happen.”

Meanwhile, Kelvin is appealing for the public to be patient with airlines and their staff as they work to manage a crisis “not of their making”.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Kelvin Ellis E tū Aviation spokesperson ph. 027 598 5735

Mood of the Smoko Room: Workers back Jacinda

In response to the Mood of the Boardroom earlier this week, E tū is proud to announce a new election tradition – Mood of the Smoko Room.

The E tū National Executive has met in Auckland this week. This is the governing body of our union, comprising democratically-elected representatives from across our eight industries.

They were asked how they feel about the election and the results were unequivocal: working people want a change of Government. 100% of these workplace representatives support a change of Government, with 0% supporting the status quo.

Jacinda Ardern topped the leadership ratings with the group, with an impressive 4.67 average rating out of 5, compared to Bill English’s 0.8 – a dramatic and devastating result for the Prime Minister who hopes to win workers’ votes by talking up his tax cut plan.

By far the most important issues for workers were jobs and wages, followed by housing and health.

E tū President and electrical technician Don Pryde says these kinds of results are to be expected as the current Government has left workers behind for so long.

“Job security is a huge issue, and out of control labour hire is undercutting existing jobs and conditions. National has no positive plans for working people to address these issues,” Don says.

Pai Hiku is a food process worker from Auckland. She reports that wages remain too low across the food industry:

“Decent wages are one of the most important issue facing workers as they cast their votes,” Pai says.

“On food sites, we are still on low wages. Our business makes a lot of profit and we want a Living Wage. If you don’t want to see us sleeping in our cars, give us what we need. That is not a lot.”

Angelique Kerr, executive assistant and E tū’s Central Region Representative, is also ready for change.

“We’ve had nine long years of going backwards,” she says.

“I was in casual work in hospo for years and insecurity is the big issue there. People are working multiple jobs, and secondary tax makes it hard to get ahead. Labour has a plan to get rid of secondary tax. I like that.”

“My dad works three jobs and that’s standard in towns where there isn’t much work.  He lives in a caravan because he can’t even afford to rent.  I worry about him and his future – eventually he is going to have to live in a real house.”

The Mood of the Smoko Room is clear. Working people say: it’s time to change the Government.

The survey:

E tū National Executive members were asked to rate the potential prime ministers out of five:

Jacinda Ardern: 4.67 /5

Bill English: 0.8 /5

The National Executive members were asked if they supported the status quo, or a change:

Supporters of the current Government: 0%
Supporters of a change: 100%

The National Executive members were asked to identify the most important issues:

Issue 1: Jobs and wages
Issue 2: Housing
Issue 3: Health

ENDS

Advanced voting has started!

This election, hundreds of polling booths across the country are open for early voting. If you are already enrolled to vote, you can simply pop along to a polling booth in your electorate and vote right now. You can even vote in an electorate outside of your electorate, you will just have to cast a Special Vote – simply an extra form to fill out.

If you are not yet enrolled to vote, you must enrol before Election Day (you cannot enrol on the day). The easiest thing to do is to head along to a polling booth and enrol and vote at the same time. You can also update your enrolment details this way. You don’t need to bring anything with you to enrol and vote – just turn up!

Click here to view an interactive map of all early voting booths.

Is everyone you know ready to vote?

Click here to download a handy poster you can put up at work (or anywhere) to let people know about enrolling and voting. You can also print out some of the details for early voting booths by visiting the NZCTU website here.

Happy voting!

Authorised by Bill Newson, 7 McGregor St, Rongotai