Category: Public and Commercial Services

E tū court action targets labour hire at LSG SkyChefs

E tū will be in the Employment Court in Auckland on Monday to argue its case on behalf of labour hire workers at global airline catering company, LSG SkyChefs.

The union is acting on behalf of workers Kamlesh Prasad and Liutofaga Tulai, and will argue that they and other labour hire workers should be entitled to the same employment conditions as directly-employed staff.

The company, which is owned by Lufthansa, operates kitchens in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown.

E tū Assistant National Secretary, John Ryall says the use of labour hire has been growing in New Zealand as employers seek to cut their costs.

But he says labour hire work is precarious.

“Using labour hire staff means employers have no responsibilities to these workers and can get rid of them at any time without going through the normal consultation processes,” says John.

“Labour hire can also be used to suppress wage demands because directly-employed workers fear being replaced by labour hire workers themselves,” he says.

John says many labour hire workers are migrants, who accept minimum wage, casualised jobs with labour hire companies because they have few other options.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

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

 

Proceedings begin at 9.30am, Monday, 14 August in the Auckland Employment Court. 

Strike action today by Wellington parking wardens

Wellington City Council parking officers will take strike action today to protest at the refusal by the Council to negotiate with their union over their wage rates.

The parking officers have been trying for over two years to get their collective agreement settled but the Council refuses to include wage rates in the agreement.

The parking wardens will strike from 3.30pm to 5pm this afternoon, with a picket in Courtenay Place.

E tū has also lodged a case with the Employment Relations Authority, seeking a ruling on the impasse with the Council.

“We believe that the ongoing refusal of the Council to negotiate wage rate or include them in our collective agreement is a serious breach of good faith,” says John Ryall, E tū Assistant Secretary and advocate for the parking officers.

“We have been to mediation three times, held high level meetings with the Council and now we feel that the only option is to go on strike,” he says.

The parking officers are promising a noisy show to drive home their frustration.

“We’re at the stage where we need to send the Council a message,” says E tū delegate, Steven Carlyon.

“This is about our ability and our right to bargain for our wages as well as being able to negotiate how we move up the wage scale and into other roles, maybe even management.

“It’s our right to have this in our collective agreement.  Everyone around New Zealand has the ability to have their wages written into their agreement so why is Wellington City Council not agreeing to this?”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

John Ryall E tū Assistant National Secretary and advocate for WCC Parking Wardens

ph. 027 520 1380

The parking officers will be picketing in Courtenay Place, from 3pm to 5.30pm, Friday 4 August. We have delegates who can speak to interested media. 

E tū welcomes Wellington City Council Annual Plan Living Wage

E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union is welcoming today’s vote by the Wellington City Council for an Annual Plan which includes a commitment to move all directly employed council workers, as well as some contractors to the full New Zealand Living Wage rate of $20.20 an hour on 1 July, with wages for other contractors also increasing as their contracts come up for renewal.

E tū Campaign Lead Organiser, Mat Danaher says: “This will immediately benefit around 100 E tū members, including cleaners, security guards, and parking wardens, both directly employed by the council and employed by contractors, and we expect the increases to be rolled out to other contract workers shortly.

“This is a victory for E tū members and our allies in the Living Wage Movement, and demonstrates the effectiveness of unions and community groups working together to campaign for the issues they care about.”

Parking warden and E tū member, John Tuiavi’i has seen his pay lift from the minimum wage 3 years ago to $19.00 an hour today, thanks to the Living Wage campaign.

He’s delighted with today’s announcement that he will soon move to the full Living Wage.

“My family is the reason I work,” says John.

“I can pay the bills, but there’s nothing left over. We stay home a lot because we can’t afford to do anything else. Now, with the extra money, I’ll be able to afford little luxuries like family trips and the occasional treat so it’ll make a real difference,” he says.

“This decision by Wellington City Council is going to echo across the country,” says Mat.

“We believe that if Wellington City Council can do this, so can other councils, and other employers. We know that Auckland Council is going to move towards the Living Wage this year, thanks to a massive campaign by ratepayers in support of the Living Wage for all council staff there.

“Other employers in the Wellington region are now going to be competing with the City Council for staff. We expect to see them starting to think about changing their wage structures in order to attract skilled and experienced staff,” Mat says.

“With the growing support for the Living Wage, and the historic Equal Pay decision this year, 2017 is when Kiwis said they were not going to accept shrinking pay packets any more. We expect to be paid enough to live on.”