E tū and its Komiti Pasifika group is calling on all members and their communities to come together in the wake of the latest COVID-19 lockdown.
Workers need to know that they should be able to get a test without being disadvantaged at work or having to use up leave in any stand-down period while awaiting test results.
E tū Food and Manufacturing Industry Council Convenor Gadiel Asiata says recent negative narratives centred on Pasefika families who have contracted COVID-19 are deeply hurtful and may make it harder for people to come forward to be tested.
“The current messages have only highlighted discrimination that has been present for generations. However, our community is a place where people love to congregate and come together as one.”
“New Zealand did not ask for this virus, no one did. There is no shame in getting tested if needed,” he says.
Gadiel says members should connect with their union if they are unsure about their rights at work and getting a test.
“We need to look after our aiga, our whānau, our families. In coming together, we are strong.”
E tū Komiti Pasifika coordinator and campaign organiser Fala Haulangi says the union has a zero-tolerance approach to racism.
“There is no place for discrimination of any kind at E tū. We work to be inclusive of every one of our members and their individual preferences and backgrounds.”
Fala says stronger rights for workers, such as Fair Pay Agreements, being paid a living wage and having 10 sick leave days, are key to creating more equal workplaces and societies.
“The importance of these issues has been highlighted again and again during COVID-19, as many of our members have continued to go to work as essential workers.
“E tū is here to support its members and will continue to advocate for decent jobs with no less than the living wage to ensure the health and wellbeing of workers and their communities.”
On Wednesday 2 September at 6pm, E tū will be holding a Facebook Live Zoom meeting for all Komiti Pasifika and E tū members, with guest speakers from the community, including Dr Api Talemaitoga and Manukau ward councillor Fa’anana Efeso Collins.
For more information and comment:
Fala Haulangi, 027 204 6332