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“Tour of Shame” of unscrupulous Christchurch employers

On Sunday 19th Sept Unite Union will be conducting lightning pickets across the city of Christchurch to name and shame the unscrupulous employers that have put profit before the welfare of their staff during the aftermath of the 7.1 earthquake.

“Just like the people of Christchurch, most companies have behaved amazingly well, whilst there are those individuals who have chosen to act appallingly during this uncertain time.” Said Matt Jones, Christchurch Unite Organiser

“Garden City Bowl, First Security and Reading Cinema can expect a loud and noisy picket outside their premises this weekend. John Key put the responsibility firmly on the shoulders of larger businesses to look after their staff, the mentioned companies made the decision to ignore this advice and will now reap the consequences.” said Mr Jones....more.

Read the Stuff report.

(image: caacrinolaas)


First Security bail on workers

10th Sept 2010
First Security has been accused of putting profit before workers welfare in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. Unite National Security Coordinator Barry Sutherland has been refused the right to speak to members of First Security Guard Services Limited in the Christchurch based National Communications Centre. “The General Manager arrived in Christchurch 5 days after the devastating ordeal occurred, gave his John Key wave and left. Staff from First Security are feeling undervalued and used by their bosses,” stated Mr Sutherland....more.

Union flooded with calls from quake affected workers

6th Sept 2010
Unite Union's Christchurch office has been flooded with phone calls and text messages from worried workers in post-earthquake Christchurch. "Many workers at Christchurch's restaurants, cinemas, hotels and security firms are worried that they will not be paid for the working days lost because of the earthquake....more.

Westin workers fight for their jobs

2nd Sept 2010 Westin Hotel workers, organised by the Unite Union, have vowed to fight for every job, as the news hit them that there are to be over 100 redundancies follwing a dispute between owners KordaMentha and Nigel McKenna's Melview picketed the hotel on Thursday 2nd September...more.

UTU Squad Rallies

22nd July 2010
Unite's UTU squad was out in force at the CTU rally in Auckland on August 21st. Pictured are Unite members from the Restaurant Brands Call Centre in Auckland. Thousands of workers gathered in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin to protest the government's changes to employment law .... more:
TV3 News
One News
NZ Herald

Vodafone fits the bill

3ist August 2010
Unite is accusing one of the country’s largest Telco’s – Vodafone – of being a bad employer after the highly profitable company refused a pay increase to most of its lowest-paid, most vulnerable employees for the second year running. “Prime Minister John Key has challenges us to name and shame bad employers and Vodafone fits the bill”, says Unite National Director Mike Treen. “This foreign-owned company’s commitment to making large profits far outweighs its commitment to its workforce.”... more.

Grand Theft Auckland

30th June 2010

Software is now a multi billion dollar industry- with many games outselling Hollywood Movies. Software titles make a huge profit for JB Hifi shareholders- sometimes as much as 40 to 50% of the sales price- yet little of this goes to the retail worker. But JB Staff are having their hours cut, and are now “Targetted” because of pressure to increase sales... more.

The rise of Unite

7th June 2010

TV3's current affairs program The Nation recently did a profile on Unite, looking at the new approach Unite has brought to unions fighting for a better deal for low paid workers. ... more.

New Zealand's first Mall workers strike

25th May 2010

Labour history was made as New Zealand had it's first Mall workers strike at midday on Tuesday 25th May. Workers in JB Hi-Fi in Albany, organised with Unite, were on strike for better pay and against a culture of bullying and intimidation against union members. "Our manager told me that I would never get a pay rise if I stayed with the Collective. There was a lot of pressure put on me to resign... more.

MPs ask for their staff to be paid fairly

30th April 2010
Underpaid Parliamentary support staff are looking at a further pay cut in real terms if the Government doesn’t consider them in the coming budget. A just-released salary survey conducted by the Employment Relations & Payroll Branch of the Parliamentary Service shows that Parliamentary support staff are paid 8.38% below the median market pay rate for executive support staff across the public and private sector.... more.

CCOs a serious threat to supercity staff pay and conditions

30th April 2010
Unite Union has written to the Prime Minister John Key requesting the government abandon plans to run the Council through Council Controlled Organisations because of dangers to the pay and conditions of staff employed by business interests at arm’s length from the council... more.

Corporate welfare for McDonald's must end

28th April 2010
Remember this from last year?
"McDonald's restaurants will receive up to $16,000 a year of taxpayers' money every time it recruits a beneficiary under a partnership with Work and Income. Winz recently put forward 54 workers for jobs at the McDonald's in Dannevirke 27 were hired, 12 of whom had been on benefits. Eight of those accrued a $36,000 subsidy for their employer, Bennett said."
Well I popped into Dannevirke McDonald's last week and spoke with some of the staff there. It was the first time I had been to Dannevirke McDonald's and I asked a few people about the scheme and what its effect was..... more.

Low cost dental care for Wellington members

1st April 2010
Wellington People's CentreJoining Unite gives Wellington members access to the dental service at the Wellington People's Centre at reduced rates to those charged to private patients. When you call to make an appointment let the receptionist know you are a Unite member. When you attend you’re appointment make sure you take your Unite membership card... more.

Check out the Wellington Unite blog

25 cents on minimum wage a bad April Fools Joke

1st April 2010 25 centsLow paid workers are set to protest in Auckland’s Queen street against a “April Fool’s Joke” - 25 cents increase on the minimum wage. The Living Wage Campaign will gather outside JB Hi Fi’s flagship store Thursday April 1st at 4pm in Queen St. JB Hi Fi is one of the companies currently offering their Unite members a zero percent pay rise..... more.

Government MPs challenged across the country

17th February 2010
John Key confronted at the Big Gay Out
On the day before Valentines campaigners across the country delivered the message to to National MPs - they have no love for workers and we need $15 an hour minimum wage not an increase in GST to 15%. Protests were held in Whangarei, Auckland Central, Waitakare, Hamilton, Whanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin.... more.

Bringing back youth rates won’t create jobs

16th February 2010
Roger Douglas has had his bill to reintroduce youth rates drawn for discussion in Parliament. National voted against the effective abolition of youth rates when in opposition. Both claim the abolition of youth rates has lead to higher unemployment for young people. The assertions are not based on fact. ....more.

Minimum Wage: truth and lies

16th February 2010
The Prime Minister admitted he could not live on the minimum wage at the Big Gay Out yesterday. He also claimed that increasing the minimum wage to $15 would lead to another 8000 people losing their jobs. His Minister of Labour Kate Wilkinson supported the claim that the removal of youth rates has lead to an increase in youth unemployment. The only claim that is true in these recent statements is that John Key couldn’t live on the minimum wage – because no one can ....more.

NOTICE: McDonald's minimum pay rates 1st March 2010.

10th February 2010
The following minimum rates are applicable to members of Unite Union, effective from 1st March 2010:

Minimum Crew Rate: $12.75
Crew CCO*: $13.00
Crew CCO (12 months)**: $13.25
Crew Trainer / McCafe Crew Trainer: $13.50 ...more.

No love for the workers

10th February 2010

The National Government have shown their contempt for low paid workers in New Zealand, by throwing 25 cents to those on the minimum wage. Half a million workers in NZ earn less than $15 an hour, and people simply can't make ends meet on such low pay. The day before Valentine's Day, join your fellow workers in nationwide pickets of your local National Party MPs offices...more.

25 cents a cheap shot and an insult to workers

27th January 2010
"The government throwing 25 cents to minimum wage workers is a cheap shot" said Campaign for a Living Wage organiser Joe Carolan. This is barely 2% of nothing, and will be well below real inflation when his government raises GST in the budget. Low paid workers are sick of being insulted by millionaires like John Key. We'll be initiating for action on the back of this slap on the face, and there'll be a loud and angry protest this afternoon at 5pm at Auckland's Chamber of Commerce on Mayoral Drive".....more.

Protecting the REAL economy

25th January 2010
If the Bankster economy is collapsing then it is just about time to think about how to protect the REAL ECONOMY, THE WORKERS.

See video of MRNEWSguerillamedia's interview with Living Wage Organiser Joe Carolan here.

61% want $15 minimum wage according to poll

19th January 2010
“The NZ Herald poll this morning that found that 61% of New Zealanders support raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, underestimates the support we are getting from thousands of people every week at our campaign stalls and workplaces” said Living Wage campaign organizer Joe Carolan, today. “We’re aiming for a referendum on this issue, and if just a fraction of the 61% who support our demand sign our petition by May, we’re confident that we will win it by a landslide- 70 or 80% would probably be closer the mark.....more.

Delegate gets over a thousand signatures

21st January 2010
Ana Pulini is Unite’s delegate at Auckland’s Copthorne Hotel. She has been busy letting people know about Unite’s campaign to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Not only has she signed up her workmates, her friends and family, she has been in the mall and on buses asking people to support the cause. Ana has found there is a lot of support out there. When she catches a bus she wanders along asking passengers if they want to sign the petition. People readily understand that the current minimum of $12.50 an hour is a poverty wage.....more.

Union boycott on Colmar Brunton

15th December 2009
Unite Union is asking its members and the public not to participate in interviews run by market research giant Colmar Brunton after the company announced the redundancy of around fifty union members and other call centre staff with no redundancy compensation just two weeks out from Christmas. “The company has decided to close its North Shore call centre and announced the decision just weeks before Christmas leaving our members facing the New Year without a job, income or any form of compensation,” said Unite Union National Director Mike Treen......more.

Unite pickets call centre over use of 90 day anti-worker law

9th December 2009
Unite Union members will picketed the Wellington call centre of Positive Airflow Limited for sacking a worker and union member without reason under the National Party’s 90 day probationary period law. Positive Airflow Ltd sells Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV) units.....more.

2009 Christmas & New Year entitlements

4th December 2009
If you work on any public holiday, you should be paid at least time and a half for the time you actually work and get another day off in lieu if you normally work on that day.

You are entitled to the greater of:
- relevant daily pay less any penal rates plus half that amount again (time-and-a-half)
- or relevant daily pay including any penal rates......find out more about your holiday entitlements.

Economics 101

4th December 2009
Unite thinks that Don Brash needs a lesson on which way is up and which way is down. Brash has proposed to reduce New Zealand’s income gap with Australia by cutting the minimum wage to $10 an hour, re-introducing youth rates for workers under 18, and slashing public services and conditions that benefit the working poor.....more.

Wages fall...except for union members!

1st December 2009
In the past year, union members in New Zealand have achieved pay increases above the rate of inflation while non-unionised workers have seen their pay drop in real terms according to new statistics. Employers usually pass on union negotiated increases to non-union workers - so these figures show that the more unionised a workplace is the better off all of its workers will be.....more.

Sign On

Unite has Signed On with Greenpeace’s campaign to get the government to take climate change seriously. This month world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to Sign On to a global agreement for action. For NZ to do our bit to help avoid catastrophic climate change, John Key needs to go to Copenhagen and and Sign On to reduce New Zealand's emissions by 40 per cent before 2020.....more.

3,300 sign up for $15 hr in one day

1st December 2009
Grey Lynn signature gathering
The Campaign for a Living Wage had our best week so far last week, with a record 5,500 people signing the petition to raise the minimum wage throughout the country. A big team of Living Wagers were out in force at the Grey Lynn festival, where we gathered 3,300 signatures highly visible in the new yellow t shirts and red caps, and thousands more wore our stickers......more.

RBL Manager Negotiations

1st December 2009
RBL Negotiating team

Restaurant Brands Limited Salaried Managers Bargaining team met with RBL management last month to discuss claims for a union agreement....more.

'Twas the night before Halloween

6th November 2009
Pictures and video from a march down Queen St in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th October 2009 to support Unite union's petition for a $15 an hour minimum wage. As it was close to Halloween the theme was "trick or treat" and marchers were dressed to kill (or to look as if they had already been killed)...more.

SkyCity Cinemas have been sold to Australian entertainment group Amalgamated Holdings Ltd (AHL) for $59 million. This included 14 Skycity cinema complexes in New Zealand, including Wellington’s Embassy Theatre, plus joint venture interests in the Rialto Group and interests in Fiji....more.

Real Wages in NZ: 1982-2009

21st October 2009
Unite National Director Mike Treen has been examining what has really been happening to our wages. He found that official data on wage movements in New Zealand point to a real wage decline of around 25% between 1982 and the mid 90s that has never been recovered and that debt growth during those years has combined to make most us poorer.....more.

McJobs Horror Stories

18th October 2009
Unite has been compiling members' bad experiences working in a McJob. Recently we received this letter detailing experiences after just 6 weeks on the job at a McDonald's in the Wellington region.. "I had to give up my house as they weren't giving me enough hours, I was hired as full time and they cut me down to below 30 hours, they knew if they didn't increase them me and my 2 year old daughter would become homeless and they still did nothing, my hours did not increase until I contacted the union but this was after I had lost my house. I have been made to work several times while sick....more.

Bus drivers fight for decent pay

10th October 2009
Fare Pay

Unite members were out supporting locked out bus drivers in Auckland this week. 900 drivers have been locked out indefinitely and over 80,000 commuters have been affected by their employer's hard line. Even the New Zealand Herald editorial criticised the bosses (very unusual)....more.

Working in a call centre without a union

13th October 2009
Call for change grows louder
While doing a street stall for the $15 campaign, Nigel Brookes, an ex-employee of an un-unionised call centre in Mt Albert approached the team to discuss his experiences. Unite represents hundreds of market research workers across 7 of the biggest companies. This year we signed collective agreements at six of these companies where members get regular pay rises, secure hours and representation to management....more.