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Members in action

Allied Press journalists strike

More than 70 members working as journalists and in print distribution took 24-hour strike action with pickets outside the Otago Daily Times in Dunedin to win pay rises to bring their wages in line with industry rates.


Fletchers Reinforcing members ratify

In September, members ratified their new two-year collective agreement with an 8% total pay rise and $1000 of backpay.


Hospital workers prepare for pay talks

E tū Compass members and those directly employed at Pukekohe Hospital met up in October for their Biennial Membership Meeting and to plan for their upcoming hospital pay talks which start in early 2024.


OCS cleaners reject zero increase

Cleaners working for OCS at Auckland Airport’s domestic terminal took strike action in August to protest their employer’s zero pay offer. OCS is part of the multi-employer collective agreement for commercial cleaners, and the companies have been delaying bargaining. Not good enough!


IDEA Services Wellington delegates come together

Delegates attended training in our new E tū office in October to learn about bargaining, growing power at their workplace and planning for how to best achieve that.


30-year membership milestone for hospital delegate

Senior cleaner and delegate Sally Hook (second from right) with fellow union members and colleagues celebrates more than 30 years of union membership at Wairoa Hospital, where she’s worked for 52 years!


Pay equity power at the laundromat

Pacific Home Care members got creative and ducked into a laundromat on a rainy night in Ōtara for their pay equity meeting, after the venue they’d planned to meet at wasn’t open on time.


Fisher & Paykel members’ first pickets in decade

Members took to the picket line for the first time in around 20 years to protest proposed changes after collective agreement negotiations broke down.


First focus group for rangatahi

In September, seven young people, aged 15 to 21, were invited along for our first-ever focus group held in Ōtautahi Christchurch to discuss how we can best reach our young people when it comes to all things union. We plan to use their feedback to inform a new Rangatahi Strategy. One participant, 18, said: “Young people are some of the most exploited in the workplace and so it’s great to know that unions are looking out for us.”


Graphic Packaging members win after week-long strike

Around 60 members at the Auckland packaging company were “elated” to win a decent 9% increase on all pay rates and allowances in their new two-year collective agreement. Delegate Stephen Meredith said the strike also grew union membership, delegates, and brought everyone much closer together. “We realised we do have power,” he said. “And united, we’ve got a lot of power.”


FMI workers take action

FMI workers in Auckland went out on strike, with the company refusing to improve a totally inadequate offer. Their boss donated $500,000 to the National Party this year, so he has the money to pay his workers properly! Instead, he has locked them out for two weeks in the lead up to Christmas, but the workers are still standing tall.


Water workers sign agreement ahead of water reform programme

E tū and other unions that cover people working in the industry have ratified a brand new collective agreement that would cover multiple unions and employers if the previous Government’s water reform programme (formerly known as Three Waters) was to go ahead. It’s a modern approach that is much needed in the industry, and we call on the new Government to preserve this model.


E tū rallies for cleaners in Philadelphia

Security guard and E tū leader Rosey Ngakopu stood in solidarity with the city’s cleaners when she attended the UNI Global World Congress in August. The cleaners, who belong to SEIU, have now won an 18.6% pay increase over the next four years.

Member profile: Rebecca Fox

For the past 20 years, journalist and E tū member Rebecca Fox has worked at the Otago Daily Times – first as a general reporter covering education, regional council, conservation, and the arts, before joining the features team about six years ago. She now writes for and edits the arts, food and wine, and travel pages.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

I grew up in Gore, Southland (a townie not a farmer) and headed to the University of Otago straight out of school to do a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in history and politics. I’d always been keen on journalism so did the University of Canterbury’s Diploma in Journalism and the rest as they say is history. Apart from a couple of years on my ‘‘OE’’ where I worked as a secretary – my shorthand skills were in much demand in the UK and the pay was better – I have worked as a journalist.

How did you get into journalism as a career?

I was encouraged by my English teacher at high school to try writing for the school’s page in the Gore Ensign (back then it was a daily paper) and worked there in my school and then university holidays.

What are your favourite bits about the job and any career highlights?

I’ve always loved telling people’s stories and helping keep people informed about what is happening in their community. You get to meet all sorts of people, from prime ministers to victims of crime, or children on their first day at school. You also get to do all sorts of things you would never do as a ‘‘regular’’ person, such as tracking elusive endangered Haast tokoeka kiwi on bush-clad Rona Island in the middle of Lake Manapouri with Department of Conservation staff.

What do you see as the major challenges facing you and other journalists today?

Where do I start? It is sometimes hard to see the positives for journalists today when you start looking at the bigger picture. The job is made increasingly difficult by the world-wide break-down in the traditional advertising-based model for funding journalism. While the search is on for a way to replace the revenue lost, no-one has come up with the solution yet. So there is less resource to fund the work we do, so there are fewer journalists doing more. Then there has been the rise of disinformation, people relying on unverified sources on social media for their information and their advertising, the rise of artificial intelligence, the claims of media bias and the personal attacks on journalists. Many of those issues have seen experienced journalists leave the industry for better paying and less stressful jobs in public relations and communications. The industry is also struggling to recruit young people to a career that involves shift work, low pay, and a negative perception.

What do you think we need to do to maintain and protect decent journalism in a changing world of media?

Journalists need to stand together and stand up for their profession and its standards. We need to work to encourage greater diversity among our ranks and provide greater support and training for younger members in what is an increasingly demanding and challenging profession yet also a fulfilling, rewarding, and exciting one.

As a journalist, why do you see unionism as important?

A lot of challenges facing the media industry have put journalism and journalism jobs under threat. Being unionised gives us the ability to have a voice at a national level as well as at a local level, to fight for editorial independence, and to protect our pay and conditions when needed, especially in tough times. Members at the Otago Daily Times went on strike recently – the first time since the 80s – to stand up for decent, fair wages and resources for journalists.

Anything other E tū members might be surprised to learn about you?

I met my now husband, Ray Pilley (former E tū South Island Vice President), in Wellington airport on the way to the union conference.

Living Wage Schools campaign to win fairness in the education system

Schools are social institutions and community hubs that play a huge role in society by educating our young people as well as employing tens of thousands of people. However, some of the support staff who keep our schools going are getting paid on or near the minimum wage.

The Living Wage Schools campaign has been launched to campaign for workers like cleaners, canteen workers, caretakers, and grounds keepers to get paid at least the Living Wage for their important work.

Like many Living Wage campaigns, it’s about bringing the local communities together to put pressure on these public institutions to do the right thing for their employees. Unions, faith groups, community organisations, parents, teachers, and students are all banding together to tell our schools that fair wages for all are a core part of their social responsibility.

The Living Wage Schools founding hui

Most schools can’t afford to meet these costs alone, so the campaign calls on government to increase funding to ensure everyone working in Aotearoa’s schools is on at least the Living Wage.

E tū member and cleaner at a school in Porirua, Andre Uncles, says that cleaning schools presents unique challenges.

“Cleaning schools is harder than most sites I have worked on in the past,” Andre says.

“We have to clean up urine and faeces on the floor, in our personal shoes. We are under a lot of pressure to finish our work, as we are never given enough time to do as good a job as we would like.

“It makes all the difference when a teacher asks their students to put the chairs up in their classroom. The only person who does it at my school is one of the maths teachers, which makes me feel like they care.”

Andre says that paying at least the Living Wage is all about recognition and respect.

“For me, it would give us self-worth and the feeling that we are being valued for the contribution we make to the school. My workmates and I often think that if we decided not to show up one day, then this whole place would crumble to the ground.”

You can learn more about the Living Wage schools campaign and get involved by visiting www.livingwageschools.org

Te Ohu Whakawhanauga, a new community alliance for Auckland

Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga Tāmaki Makaurau is a new community alliance based in Auckland. Te Ohu Tāmaki brings together unions, community organisations, and faith based groups around shared campaigns for a just society. The current priorities for the alliance are decent work, better housing, and fairness for migrants.

More than 500 people from 48 organisations, including E tū, came together to launch the alliance in September and to challenge the leaders of political parties to commit to building 1000 units of public housing a year during the next term. National, Labour, and the Greens said yes.

Dina Timu, an E tū delegate and security guard in Waitakere, spoke at the launch about the importance of decent work. Because she works for the Ministry of Social Development, she gets the Living Wage of $26 per hour.

Dinah Timu

I am so grateful to my union and the Living Wage Movement for campaigning for more than 10 years for the Living Wage,” Dinah said at the launch.

“Even though I am above the Living Wage at my MSD job, the cost of living is so high now. Sometimes my children go without healthy food, or I get behind on bills. Every week, I can only put $30 in petrol for my car after I have paid all my bills. When I run out of petrol, I walk to work.”

Dinah also works as a bouncer on the weekends, a job with real risks.

“I love the people I work with but the job is not safe. A colleague of mine had a gun pointed at his head. Earlier this year, I got attacked by a male client at work. And I was only allowed two days off to recover, which is not enough.

“Every worker is entitled to a job that has a decent income, stable employment, gives them a voice, and is in a quality work environment. This is what decent work means.”

E tū will join with its allies in Te Ohu Tāmaki to fight for real commitments to transform the lives of working people in Aotearoa’s biggest city, Auckland.

You can learn more about Te Ohu Whakawhanaunga and get involved by visiting www.teohu.community.

Thousands of E tū members join the Biennial Membership Meetings

Our Biennial Membership Meetings in September and October were a great opportunity for all E tū members to talk about our union, prepare for the future, and participate in our union’s democracy. Site meetings were held at larger workplaces, and there were general meetings across the country that brought together workers from different employers and industries.

Wheeti Haenga, who is the Convenor of the E tū Women’s Committee and a delegate at Carter Holt Harvey in Tokoroa, enjoyed representing the National Executive when meeting fellow members at the general meetings.

Wheeti Haenga

“People really seemed to appreciate learning that while I’m on the National Executive, I’m also a regular member and worker,” Wheeti says.

“Some of them didn’t realise that we are workers, just like they are. It’s one of the great things about E tū that we are a member-led union. I felt appreciated, and they did, too.”

The next big event in the E tū democracy calendar is the Biennial Conference, being held in July next year in Auckland.


At the Biennial Membership Meetings, members elected new representatives for the National Executive.

Don, Nia, and Vivien will now join the other members of the National Executive in overseeing the direction of our union. A big thanks to all the candidates and members who participated in the elections.

Nia Bartley

Central Region Representative

 

Don Pryde

South Island Vice President

 

Vivien Welland

Northern Region Representative

 

 

Industry spotlight: Manufacturing

  • E tū has more than 7000 members working in manufacturing and food production.
  • Manufacturing is an important contributor to Aotearoa’s economy, accounting for 11% of our GDP.
  • It employs approximately 239,800 workers, which is around 10% of the working population.
  • Food, beverage, and tobacco manufacturing are the largest contributors to the industry’s output, at around 30%.
  • Food product manufacturing is also the largest employer in the industry, providing work for approximately 79,200 workers.
  • Transport equipment, machinery, and equipment manufacturing, makes up about 20% of the sector, with more than 32,000 workers in machinery and equipment manufacturing. Fabricated metal product manufacturing follows closely behind with more than 27,000 workers.
  • The manufacturing sector is also a key export, accounting for more than 60% of products we sent offshore.

Growing up in the Wattie’s family

Tai Wharepapa

I’ve been a delegate at Wattie’s for over 30 years. I’ve always worked at Wattie’s and all my nine siblings (bar one) worked there too. We are from a big family that came from the rural countryside to the city, so realistically, us kids all had to work.

“It started as a seasonal job from around age 15. They had hours that were suitable for students, so a lot of us used to go from high school to Wattie’s over the Christmas holidays. I did belt work, inspecting the fruit as it came onto the line for quality. Sometimes I was on the pear line – I’d stand there and put pears into the machine to be peeled. We also did cleaning and hosing floors.

“After high school, I lived away in the South Island and in Wellington but eventually came home back to Hastings and got a job back at Wattie’s. Now I work in ‘Complex Recipes’ and I’m what you call a ‘kettle cook’. We make the big soups that go over to Australia, Japan – all export quality soups go through Complex.

“In terms of being a delegate, I’ve had some pretty good teachers. When I was 15 and first started working there, we had this group of old ladies who were truly leaders in their own right. They’d take you under their wing and train you to be a good worker. You loved the environment because it was family orientated and everybody looked after you. When I went back to Wattie’s, I also had good role models, like the lead delegate, Moko, who trained me at the time.

“Fairness is important to me. Everything has to be open and transparent, otherwise I will open it and make it transparent – to me that’s what being in the union is all about.”


Issues in manufacturing

Campaigning for a Just Transition

Workers in the manufacturing industry are particularly susceptible to changes in their industry like increasing automation, industrial and technological changes, and climate change adaptations to lower carbon-emissions and reliance on non-renewable energy sources.

This means manufacturing workers can be at risk of losing their jobs and experiencing “wage scarring” – which is when wages are cut because workers being made redundant feel pressured to take whatever job comes along just to pay the bills, rather than find work that’s better for them.

E tū campaigns for a “Just Transition” for workers affected by change outside their control, including through consultation clauses in collective agreements and other arrangements to support them to transition to new work as their industry changes.

Ethnic discrimination

Māori and Pacific peoples are employed in the manufacturing sector in large numbers, often in low-paying and low-skilled roles rather than in professional and management positions. Bias and discrimination in and outside of companies continues to play an important role in this. The Pacific and Māori pay gaps highlight the urgent need to improve wages in the sector to combat ethnicity-based inequality.


Action ramps up at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare

The Fisher & Paykel workforce at their Biennial Membership Meeting

Fisher & Paykel is one of Aotearoa’s best-known and enduring manufacturing companies. Established in 1934 as an importer of refrigerators, washing machines, and radios, Fisher & Paykel quickly moved into domestic manufacturing and expanded to produce more electronic products, including healthcare equipment from the 1960s.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare split off from the main company in 2001, and has become a dominant international player, particularly in producing respiratory and acute care technology.

While the company has had a long history as a good employer, with good relationships with our union, E tū members at the Auckland manufacturing site have started taking industrial action after a sub-standard offer. The company has proposed getting rid of overtime for working on weekends, shift pattern changes that would reduce overtime payments further, and a pay rise that doesn’t meet the shortfall these changes would create.

Fisher & Paykel members picketing for a better deal

E tū delegate and engineer Chris Burton has worked for Fisher & Paykel for 38 years, and says the company’s latest approach doesn’t match up with their history and reputation.

“It’s a real shame that one of New Zealand’s greatest companies is behaving like this,” Chris says.

“They have got a long history of doing the right thing, and over the years I have been able to do well myself, but that’s not a luxury many of my colleagues are afforded.

“There used to be a culture of lifting people up through development opportunities, and proper investment in staff. We trained a lot of people. But they now have some ugly agendas and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare just aren’t doing that to the extent they should be.

“There are over 3,000 people at the Auckland site. We should expect a company like this to give something back to the wider community, and not just tokenism.”

Chris says the people worst affected by the proposed deal are those who are doing it hardest.

“They are playing on people’s hardship. I think it’s extremely cheeky to come to us with something like this while many are in financial stress, with rents, mortgages, fuel, and everything else getting so much more expensive.

“The reality is that a majority of the staff on lower wages are women. They claim to pay attention to diversity and inclusion – here’s a real opportunity to put their money where their mouth is and show the rest of the country how to get real results in closing the gender pay gap.”

Chris says it’s particularly disappointing that the company is taking this approach given it is a highly profitable business.

“We were one of the few New Zealand businesses that did well during the pandemic, due to the increased demand for healthcare products. When you are posting record profits year after year and then you come calling for the lowest paid people in the organisation to take the biggest hit, that’s not good enough.”

Pay equity is well overdue

E tū members in care and support are still waiting for proper recognition of their work through the pay equity process. Using a new mechanism set up under the previous Labour Government, care and support workers have made a pay equity claim and have been working with employers to establish better benchmarks for wages, while urging decision makers to fund the sector properly.

It all started in the care and support sector. The Care and Support Workers (Pay Equity) Settlement Act 2017 was the result of E tū caregiver Kristine Barlett’s historic legal victory, proving that low pay in the sector was the result of gender-based pay discrimination. We won huge increases for these essential workers who traditionally been paid near the minimum wage.

Since then, other groups of workers such as teacher aides, nurses, and healthcare assistants have made pay equity claims and made some serious gains. However, six years after our victory, care and support workers have fallen behind, with our original settlement expiring this month.

E tū and other unions launched a second pay equity claim in November, which includes over 100 employers in the sector. As central government funding pays for the important services in care and support, it is big institutions like the Ministry of Health and Te Whatu Ora who need to step up and fund a proper pay equity settlement.

Marianne Bishop, a caregiver and the Convenor of E tū’s Care and Support Industry Council, says that the wait is unacceptable.

“Everybody’s frustrated with the fact that it’s taking so long,” she says.

“We have only had up to a 3% pay rise in the last year, with some of us getting nothing, despite the cost of living increasing so much more than that. Everyone is really struggling, especially our colleagues in home support who have to cover their own vehicle costs and other expenses.”

The government departments have recently called for another review of the work in the sector, even though unions and employers have worked together to establish what pay equity in the sector would really look like.

“It’s like they are saying we’re lying about what we do in our job. We have done the appropriate work to establish some good benchmarks. But the funders have come back and rejected our work. It’s an insult.

“What I keep saying is I’m really impressed with the three unions and the major employers coming together to actually do this collaboratively. We all realise that we need the workers, but we need the funding too – and we need to work together to get it.

Marianne has a simple message for the new Government: “Fund the sector properly.”

“It’s stupid that the sector has always been so underfunded. People pay taxes their whole lives, but then have to fight for the care they need when they are older.

“We have an ageing population and an ageing workforce. What’s going to happen in 10, or 20 years’ time? How are going to attract new people into the industry if they can’t earn a living? It’s just not going to work.

“We won the first settlement under a National Government in 2017, now it’s time for them to step up again. They keep saying that people voted for change, well now it’s time to really change things for people who need care and those who provide it.”

The fight continues under a new Government

The votes have all been counted, and a National-led Government has won the election.

E tū members can be proud of the huge effort we put into the election campaign. Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we used the opportunity to grow our union membership, to put workers’ issues on the agenda, and to educate people about the value of voting. These are all important achievements.

There are many obvious benefits to having a worker-friendly government, as demonstrated by Labour’s work over the last six years. We can celebrate the world leading Covid response, record minimum wage increases, doubling sick leave, introducing Fair Pay Agreements, creating a new public holiday for Matariki, and much more.

However, we know that parliament certainly isn’t the only place where we can win the change we need. The union movement exists because workers know we are powerful when we stand together, organising both locally and nationally in the face of all challenges.

That’s our opportunity and responsibility as we go forward. While our political allies in parliament will hold the new Government to account, our union will keep campaigning and organising to empower people and our communities for better lives.

While E tū was established in 2015, the origins of our union go back to the 19th Century, with the formation of the Carpenters Union in 1860. Our union whakapapa includes playing a part in the formation of the Labour Party in 1916. It’s good to remember this – we’ve been through thick and thin for over 160 years, and we will keep fighting for workers’ rights no matter who occupies the top floors of the Beehive!

A smaller Labour Party caucus in parliament has meant losing some MPs who are allies of E tū, such as Ibrahim Omer. He is realistic about the future for Aotearoa.

“We are in for a bumpy road ahead, there’s little doubt about that,” Ibrahim says.

“The National-led Government could be one of the worst for working people in decades. The policies they promoted, like cancelling Fair Pay Agreements and the full return of 90-day trials, are a giant leap backwards.

“But as well as difficulties, we are faced with new opportunities to come together and strengthen both the Labour Party and our union movement. It’s all about channelling our disappointment about the election results and turning that into energy for the battles to come.

“This is not the time to give up. It’s actually the time to stand up and fight for workers, and to keep the faith. We need to grow our union. We need people with leadership skills to become delegates. Everyone has a role, and I encourage everyone to get active.”

One of the new MPs to enter Parliament this time is Cushla Tangaere-Manuel, who won the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate and brings a wealth of experience in community leadership and advocacy. Cushla is excited about the opportunity.

Cushla Tangaere-Manuel

“Maintaining the legacy that Labour, and particularly Parekura Horomia, have with this seat brings a great sense of pride,” Cushla says.

“It is exciting to take up that legacy in my own way, backed by the support our Māori voters have put in me to advocate hard, and not leave the decision-making tables until the very end.

“With really important rights at stake for everyone, it’s important that together, we educate, do all we can do to hold the new Government to account, and motivate whānau to act.”

E tū also has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Green Party, and we are growing a relationship with Te Pāti Māori. Both of these parties have won the biggest caucuses they have ever had, bringing in new MPs to strengthen the progressive voice in Parliament.

Green Party Co-Leader and E tū member Marama Davidson is ready for the challenge ahead.

“We will keep being clear that everything is about political choice, and we have the choice to do right for people who work, for our communities, for our environment, and for our planet,” Marama says.

Marama Davidson

“We will be at our strongest for the mission if we work across political parties and with our wider communities. I am constantly thinking that the only choice we have is hope. The gold is in the community-led movements, like unions, and the action that we see every single day.”

New Government’s commitment on contractors “A real backwards step”

Nureddin Abdurahman is a Wellington City Councillor for the Paekawakawa/Southern Ward and a proud E tū member. He has strong Labour values and his priorities on Council include protecting our public assets, providing better social housing, and making sure transport infrastructure is fit for purpose.

Before becoming a councillor, Nureddin had to supplement his income as a small business owner to support his young family. Like many people in his position, he turned to Uber driving.

Nureddin Abduraman

“It seemed like an easy and flexible way to make a bit more money when we really needed it,” Nureddin says.

He soon discovered that despite the appeal, working for Uber came with huge frustrations.

“The company promotes flexibility for their drivers, but in reality, they control it all. The systems of rewards and penalties in particular mean that drivers have to meet strict conditions to get the most out of the work.”

Uber employ their workers as ‘independent contractors’, which means they don’t get normal employee protections such as minimum leave provisions, a guarantee of at least the minimum wage, and the ability to have a union collective agreement.

This model is being used to exploit workers more and more often. The only recourse workers have to challenge this is to take a claim to the Employment Court, arguing that they should in fact be full employees because of the true nature of the work.

That’s exactly what E tū did, along with FIRST Union, and Nureddin was one of four claimants who went to court to prove they deserve the legal rights and protections of employees. We won the case, but Uber have appealed the decision.

The case highlights the problems with the independent contractor model, and the need to reform our employment laws to ensure it is fit for purpose in the changing world of work.

The alarming news is that the new Government seems to be moving in the complete opposite direction. Instead of helping workers to secure the protections they deserve, the National Party’s coalition agreement with the ACT Party includes stopping workers from taking their claims to the Employment Court.

“This is a real backwards step, as well as a huge slap in the face for workers who are trying to win what they deserve,” Nureddin says.

“We know that some employers will take advantage of vulnerable people who have few work options. That’s what Uber is currently doing. Workers need to be able to challenge their employment status in the courts, otherwise companies will simply keep getting away with exploiting the employment systems.

“The new Government’s plan here is only one part of a scary picture. They are also bringing back 90-day trials for all, removing Fair Pay Agreements, and fiddling with important health and safety protections. None of this is good news, and we need to stand up against it.”

Our union isn’t going to let them make these kinds of changes without a challenge. Worker perspectives must be at the forefront of any law changes that affect us, and E tū members will lead the charge against these anti-worker reforms.

Editorial: new beginnings

Welcome to this edition of E tū and you. It is my honour to be the National Secretary of E tū, a union with a proud history and a powerful future.

In September and October, I and most other staff in our union were out in our towns and cities meeting with union members. From small meetings in workplaces to general and large site meetings that were bursting at the seams, it was great to see so many of you there. Right across the country, we demonstrated the strength and diversity of our union.

September also saw our general election campaign launch, MCed by our co-President Gadiel Asiata. At that event, our other co-President Muriel Tunoho, our outgoing National Secretary Bill Newson, and union delegate Matewai Roberts spoke to members and politicians about their experiences as union members and working people, and the importance to our work of the support of a worker-friendly government.

The outcome of the election was not what we campaigned for, but our engagement with members on issues important to workers will not go to waste. We are an organising and campaigning union.

Right now, we face challenging times, with likely economic and political head-winds coming our way. To meet the challenge, we are organising to build the strength and confidence of our workplace leaders, to be an open and welcoming union to all new workers who join us, and to those who stay with us, and to stand up for workers rights wherever we are.

We also continue to campaign. When we have the ear of government, we campaign for laws that will support our work and the rights of working people. In other times, we campaign with our allies across our communities on issues that are important to our members, winning a Living Wage and better lives for all.

All E tū members have a place in our union. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us through the 160 years of our history. Each of us can trace our own work back through one of the many threads of our crafts and industries that have been woven together to form E tū. We work in aviation, care, health, manufacturing, engineering, mining, property services, postal and logistics services, electrocomms, media, the creative industries, and many others.

The E tū National Executive in October

You will see stories of this work and this diverse base in the pages of this magazine. The stories in these pages weave together with all the other stories of collective commitment in E tū to build the strength of this union. E tū grows in power every time a delegate represents a member, every time we renew a collective agreement, every time we take action, every time another person chooses to join us.

In closing, I acknowledge our outgoing National Secretary, Bill Newson. Bill led industrial campaigns for decades as a union official, and was a key leader in the creation of E tū in 2015. He served the movement selflessly for 50 years, from his rank-and-file membership as an apprentice, to holding the highest office of National Secretary. Haere ra, e hoa. The union is the richer for your service.