Category: Aviation

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

E tū safety focus as Erebus design unveiled

New Zealand’s largest aviation union, E tū welcomes the announcement that a design has been selected for the national memorial commemorating the Erebus disaster.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand scenic flight over Antarctica crashed into Mt Erebus killing all 257 people on board including 20 crew.

The final design, Te Paerangi Ataata – Sky Song, by Wellington firm Studio Pacific Architecture will be located in Dove-Myer Robinson Park (Parnell Rose gardens), overlooking the Waitematā and is scheduled for unveiling in May 2020.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says every year cabin crew mark the anniversary of the disaster with a wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport.

But he says, there has long been a need for a proper memorial to all those who died in New Zealand’s worst aviation disaster.

“We’ve long supported the call by the Erebus families for a proper memorial, which bears the name of all those on board. This design does that,” says Savage.

“While our preference would be a south facing memorial overlooking the Manukau harbour, if the families of the bereaved support the location then we stand with them,” he says.

Savage says it’s appropriate the announcement comes ahead of commemorations marking the 40th anniversary of the crash.

“This year’s commemorations will be particularly poignant for cabin crew and pilots. The loss of Flight 901 was one of New Zealand’s worst industrial accidents and there are crew still flying today who lost colleagues and family members in the disaster.  

“The safety of both themselves and the travelling public is paramount for all aviation workers, and this focus on the Erebus disaster reminds the nation of the need to create the safest aviation industry we can.”

Savage says the union will be speaking to Auckland Airport and Air New Zealand about improving the Airport Memorial Gardens in time for the 40th anniversary commemorations in November.

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Savage Head of Aviation ph. 027 590 0074

Air NZ: We have a deal

After three days of mediation, the unions representing Air New Zealand Logistics and Engineering workers have reached agreement in principle with company representatives.

Talks concluded at Air NZ HQ at 10pm tonight. As a result, the three one-day strike notices on 21, 22, and 23 December have been lifted. The members core aims have largely been achieved, however specific details about the offer will not be released until union members have been briefed.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage, says that travellers will no doubt be relieved and should be reassured that Air New Zealand Engineers and logistics workers are dedicated professionals.

“Industrial action of this nature is always a last resort and so it’s a positive sign that we’ve reached an agreement in principle,” Savage says.

“Unions are democratic organisations so the most important next step is communicating with our members. We will be recommending the deal to members at ratification meetings over the coming week – then it’s up to the members to discuss and vote on the company offer.

“While the process has been tense at times, it is a much improved offer from where we started and maintains standards in Aviation. I want to acknowledge the union negotiating teams, especially the delegates, for getting us to this point.

“Air New Zealand and the four employee unions have a union management partnership. We still disagree, sometimes publicly. But at the heart of that partnership is a commitment to keep working on solutions and maintain productive communication with each other. We have witnessed that this week.”

“We have ongoing work to do to improve things at Engineering and E tū members as the largest union group within Air New Zealand are committed to that happening.”

ENDS

Air NZ strike details: three days from 21 Dec

The unions representing Air New Zealand Engineering and Logistics workers confirm that last week they issued three full-day strike notices for 21, 22, and 23 December.

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime.

E tū and the AMEA remain in mediation with the company. On Monday, union delegates and officials worked with the company late into the night to try and reach an agreement. E tū is committed to this process and to reaching a deal that meets the interests of both our members and the travelling public.

Savage, Head of Aviation at E tū, says “The decision to issue strike notices was not taken lightly. While the bargaining team is trying hard to get a workable offer, the union members are steadfast in their commitment to taking industrial action if necessary.

“We will keep on talking about possible solutions.”

ENDS

Savage is the union spokesperson on this issue. He will continue in mediation with Air New Zealand but may get time for short phone interviews. Please send him a text message to arrange: 027 590 0074.

E tū Aviation commemorates air tragedies

November 28th is the day for all New Zealanders to stop and think about the importance of aviation safety.

New Zealand’s largest aviation union, E tū is today commemorating two aviation tragedies which happened on the same day 29 years apart.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand scenic flight over Antarctica crashed into Mt Erebus killing all 257 people on board including 20 crew.

E tū aviation members and union representatives will attend the annual wreath-laying at the Erebus Crew Memorial garden at Auckland Airport this afternoon.

There will be a minute’s silence at 1.49pm (12:49 NZST) – the time the crash occurred.

E tū’s Head of Aviation, Savage says the memorial remembers the crew who died there including 15 cabin crew who never came home from work.

Today is also the 10th anniversary of the crash involving an Air NZ A320 which crashed off the coast of Perpignan in France in 2008.

Five New Zealand aviation workers died in that crash including Air New Zealand engineers Murray White, Michael Gyles and Noel Marsh.

“Just as we honoured the memory of the men who died at Pike River, so we should remember the people who died in the Erebus tragedy and in the A320 crash,” says Savage.

“Air disasters are a tragedy for everyone involved but we should never forget that they are also workplace accidents.

“Our aviation industry connects us to the world. Our entire economy and the lives of workers and passengers alike is dependent on maintaining the highest possible aviation safety standards”.

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)

ENDS

For further information, contact:

Savage E tū Aviation Director ph. 027 590 0074