Category: Aviation

E tū aviation members monitor coronavirus situation

E tū says it is monitoring the situation with the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan China, and has so far claimed 80 lives.

E tū cabin crew regularly fly to China and airport workers interact with thousands of travellers every day. E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the union’s delegates and Health and Safety reps are keeping a close watch on developments.

“Every employer has a duty of care to ensure employees are well-informed and that safety procedures and equipment are fit for purpose at the increased risk levels being experienced,” says Savage.

“At the moment the situation does not appear to be worse than the SARS virus, and it’s important for people not to panic.

“However, it is serious, and union members in the air and on the ground are questioning their employers to make sure they have up to date public health advice and are not unduly exposed to any more risk than they ordinarily are,” he says.

“It is important that workers talk to their employer whenever they see any risk to health and safety. Everyone at work has an obligation to be safe at work. But, in an epidemic situation like this, employers have an extra responsibility to act fast to support the workers most at risk and to ensure they are informed and protected”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation, E tū ph. 027 590 0074

Airport ceremony to mark Erebus 40th anniversary

A service marking the moment Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed into Mt Erebus, killing all 257 people on board, including 20 crew members will be held at 1pm tomorrow at the Erebus Crew Memorial Gardens at Auckland Airport.

Every year E tū hosts a commemoration service on 28 November to mark the anniversary of the tragedy. This year is the 40th anniversary. 

E tū aviation members and union representatives including members of the NZ Airline Pilots Association will gather at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden on Tom Pearse Drive for the service. This will include the traditional laying of wreaths and incorporate ceremonial water from the slopes of Mt Erebus supplied by Antarctica New Zealand

The Minister of Transport and Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford is also scheduled to speak along with Labour MP Marja Lubeck, a former flight attendant and cabin crew union leader.

The service will start at 1300 and last approximately one hour.

At the same time in Auckland there will be a private ceremony at Government House, attended by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy who will meet with representatives of the Erebus families.

Both ceremonies will observe a minute silence at 1.49pm (12.49 NZST) – the time the crash occurred. E tū, the union for cabin crew is inviting all New Zealanders to stop what they are doing and remember the events of that day.

“Erebus changed a nation,” says E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage. 

“257 people from New Zealand and around the world died. This was one of our worst industrial accidents, a day when 20 aviation workers lost their lives. 

“It changed the way the whole world thought about aviation safety and about our shared responsibilities to put safety first,” he says.

“We invite all New Zealanders wherever they are in the world to pause for a minute and reflect on the event and the importance of safety at work and the responsibility we all have to look out for one another.”

The day is also the 11th anniversary of the crash in 2008 of an Air NZ A320 off the coast of Perpignan in France, which claimed the lives of seven people including five New Zealand aviation workers.

ENDS    

What: wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden

Where:  Auckland Airport – the memorial is located to the eastern side of Tom Pearce Drive, 300m north of Puhunui Road roundabout

When: 28th November 1.00pm – there is a minute’s silence at the time of impact 1:49 (12:49 NZST)

For further information, contact: Savage E tū Aviation Director ph. 027 590 0074

E tū Aviation to mark Erebus tragedy 40th anniversary

Every year E tū organises a commemoration service on 28 November to mark the anniversary of the Erebus tragedy. This year is the 40th anniversary.

The service marks the moment Air New Zealand Flight 901 crashed into Mt Erebus, killing all 257 people on board, including 20 crew members.

It is New Zealand’s deadliest peacetime disaster, as well as the deadliest accident in Air New Zealand’s history.

E tū aviation members and union representatives will gather at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport for the service, which will include the traditional laying of wreaths.

The service will start at 1300 and last approximately one hour.

In Auckland, there will also be a private ceremony at Government House, attended by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Governor General, Dame Patsy Reddy who will meet with representatives of the Erebus families.

During both ceremonies a minute silence will be observed at 1.49pm (12.49 NZST) – the time the crash occurred.

E tū, the union for cabin crew is inviting all New Zealanders to stop what they are doing and remember the events of that day.

“Erebus changed a nation,” says E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage, speaking on behalf of the union’s 7800 aviation workers.

“257 people from New Zealand and around the world died. This was one of our worst industrial accidents, a day when 20 aviation workers lost their lives. 

“It changed the way the whole world thought about aviation safety and about our shared responsibilities to put safety first,” he says.

“We invite all New Zealanders wherever they are in the world to pause for a minute and reflect on the event and the importance of safety at work and the responsibility we all have to look out for one another.”

In a sad coda, the day is also the 11th anniversary of the crash involving an Air NZ A320 which crashed off the coast of Perpignan in France in 2008, claiming the lives of seven people including five New Zealand aviation workers.

ENDS    

What: wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden

Where:  Auckland Airport – the memorial is located to the side of the Tom Pearce Drive, 300m north of Puhunui Road roundabout

When: 28th November 1.30pm – there is a minute’s silence at the time of impact 1:49 (12:49 NZST)

For further information, contact: Savage E tū Aviation Director ph. 027 590 0074

E tū responds to Air NZ’s 787 engine problems

E tū, the union for cabin crew says today’s announcement by Air New Zealand of the grounding of between two and five 787 Dreamliners is a major challenge for 787 cabin crew who are currently in wage negotiations.

The airline says the grounding is the result of ongoing engine maintenance problems with the Dreamliners’ Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

“Yet more problems with engines at Air New Zealand has implications for 787 cabin crew members,” says the union’s Head of Aviation, Savage.

“Fewer planes flying means less work and more network disruptions. There is also a risk of some redundancies if 787 crews cannot be redeployed to other fleets or if lease aircraft can’t be found to replace the Dreamliners,” he says.

“We will be doing what we can to ensure all other options to redeploy crew are used first”.   

Savage says the news coincides with wage bargaining for 787 cabin crew.

“We have 650 787 Dreamliner cabin crew in negotiations for a new collective agreement right now and the engine problems have changed the parameters of what has been, at times, a very tense negotiation,” he says.

“Crew are not paid enough for the work they do, and this latest round of engine problems will almost certainly see the company looking to limit costs even more.

“Cabin crew are an under-appreciated group and disruptions to the airline’s performance caused by technical problems outside their control are yet another challenge for them.

“Crew have been through a lot in the two years since the first engine problems were discovered. They are dedicated professionals and they understand how the industry works. However, they do not want to see their working conditions and aviation standards decline even more than they already have.”

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Savage E tū Head of Aviation ph. 027 590 0074

E tū welcomes Living Wage at Queenstown Airport

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) have announced that they are officially an accredited Living Wage Employer, with all of their workers being paid at least $21.15.

Crucially, this includes workers employed by contractors such as cleaners and security guards, who must be paid the Living Wage for accreditation because they deliver regular and ongoing services to QAC.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage, congratulates QAC for taking this step.

“It’s fantastic to see Queenstown Airport Corporation taking the lead in the industry by prioritising fair wages for their workers,” Savage says.

“We hope other airport and ground handling companies follow Queenstown’s example and make sure their directly employed and contracted workers are all on at least the Living Wage.

“E tū Aviation union members are committed to making aviation the first Living Wage industry in New Zealand. There is big money to be made in aviation and tourism – it’s important that standards remain high and aviation workers get their fair share.”

Savage says that Queenstown is an area where decent wages are especially important.

“Kiwis all over the country are dealing with high living costs and Queenstown workers have it especially tough at the moment. This will make a real difference to the affected workers as well as the wider Queenstown community.”

Local E tū member Fiona Lawson, who works at the airport for an airline, hopes this will encourage more Queenstown businesses to get on board.

“It’s exciting to have the airport take such a significant step for their workers, and hopefully it creates some momentum for Living Wages in Queenstown,” Fiona says.

“It’s also time for the Queenstown Lake District Council to commit to paying all their staff the Living Wage, like other councils across New Zealand are doing.

“It’s been empowering to see what local Living Wage networks have been able to achieve for low paid workers. People deserve better wages, and this is how we get them.”

ENDS

For more information and comment, contact Savage on 027 590 0074

Note: Living Wage accreditation has been achieved by QAC because all of their directly employed and contracted workers will now earn the Living Wage, though it does not cover companies that use the airport space, such as airlines and retail outlets.

E tū: changing times as Air NZ cuts London services

E tū says it’s not surprised by Air New Zealand’s decision to pull out of its London base and cease flights between Los Angeles and London.

E tū Head of Aviation, Savage says for many years, Kiwi travellers have looked to fly to Europe via LA and London, and the soon-to-be-defunct Air NZ route was popular in the past.

But he says, that’s changed as more players have crowded the trans-Atlantic market and flights via the Middle East and Asia have become more desirable.

“After 36 years, it’s definitely the end of an era, and our thoughts are with the cabin crew and other UK based staff who will lose their jobs,” says Savage.

“The 130 London-based crew are members of Unite union in the UK. They are a mix of nationalities with about 30 New Zealanders. As we understand it, some of the London crew will have found out today while half-way to LA that the base was closing.

“Only cabin crew know what it is like to be cabin crew so, regardless of which union they belong to or where they live, our members have strong solidarity with fellow Air NZ crew who are now facing redundancy.

“We have contacted the union officials in London and will be offering whatever assistance we can.”

Savage says this morning’s other announcement of direct flights to New York was also not unexpected.  

“The focus is now on Pacific-rim countries as Air NZ re-positions itself in the market. Our members on the 787s are in contract negotiations with the company at present and that includes agreements on Ultra Long Range flying where duty times for crew will be around 19 hours,” he says.

Savage says both moves reflect a strong focus within Air New Zealand on profits.

“It is clear the airline is focused on maximising profits on every route they fly. For E tū members, it is important the drive to increase company profits does not undermine the company’s social commitments to its own employees.

“Profit at the expense of decent well-paid aviation jobs here in New Zealand will not help the New Zealand economy thrive,” says Savage.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation E tū ph. 027 590 0074

E tū statement on new Air NZ CEO

11 October 2019

MEDIA STATEMENT

E tū statement on the appointment of Greg Foran as Air New Zealand CEO: this should be credited to Savage, Head of Aviation, E tū.

“E tū is the largest union at Air New Zealand with over 5000 members.

“The Air New Zealand board remains committed to the High-Performance High Engagement approach, and E tū members and delegates are looking forward to meeting with their new CEO to talk about raising the standard of union-management projects and processes.

“Walmart had a reputation in the USA as an anti-union, anti-worker employer but there were clear improvements in the company’s approach under Foran’s leadership.

“Aviation workers are unionised workers. Leadership in the Aviation industry means working with your employees, not against them.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation, E tū ph. 027 590 0074

E tū supporting regional Jetstar members

E tū is supporting its members at Jetstar following today’s surprise announcement the company will cease its regional services, effective end of November.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the announcement, which came out of the blue, is disappointing and will mean job losses.

“Like all New Zealand-based cabin crew, Jetstar flight attendants are E tū members and the regional crew group have their own collective employment agreement.  

“All 20 of the company’s regional crew are in the union and we are supporting all of them with advice and guidance at what for any worker is a very stressful time,” says Savage.

He says the union will be working to help as many of the workers as possible find alternative, suitable jobs.

“We are discussing details of the announcement with the company and we will be assisting members with finding work at Jetstar jets, the Qantas group or with any regional airlines looking for skilled and experienced crew members.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation E tū ph. 027 590 0074

E tū welcomes Air NZ move on Tā moko, tattoos

E tu’s Head of Aviation, Savage, has welcomed Air New Zealand’s move to allow employees to display Tā moko and other appropriate tattoos.

Savage says while the tattoo issue has not been a central aspect of the union’s discussions with Air New Zealand it still important.

“For the last two years we’ve been talking to the company about a tattoo and uniform policy that respects gender and cultural diversity,” says Savage.

“New Zealanders are used to seeing tattoos, but it is a smart move for an airline operating globally to forge ahead in this way,” he says.

“Aotearoa is a Pacific nation. No one should be surprised to board an Air New Zealand flight or turn up at a New Zealand airport and be attended to by someone with a tattoo and a smile on their face. Tā moko, tatau and tattoos are all Pacific artforms.”   

Savage says the question of what counts as an appropriate tattoo is a subjective issue but the company has a process in place to deal with that.

“Overall, where it is a concern, employers should have a clear and fair policy on these matters,” says Savage.

“The first step to achieving good workplace policies is to include the people who might be affected by the policy in the discussion, which Air New Zealand has done.

“Air New Zealand is embracing diversity and inclusiveness to increase workplace wellbeing and productivity and as a union we support that.”

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Savage E tū Director of Aviation ph. 027 590 0074