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New Leadership at Unite

Wed, 12/10/2014 - 18:40
The 2014 AGM of Unite Union saw many new leaders step up and a farewell to one of the Union’s Matt McCarten stood down as National Secretary. Matt had been on leave for the most of the year after taking up the Chief of Staff position for the Labour party in parliament. Matt played the […]

Fast food strikes in US

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 14:34
 ​ FAST-FOOD WORKERS STRIKE IN 190 CITIES AS FIGHT FOR $15, UNION RIGHTS GROWS IN NEW INDUSTRIES Push for Higher Pay Spreads as Home Care Workers, Convenience Store Cashiers, Discount Store Clerks, Airport Cleaners and Ramp Workers, Walmart Associates, Federally-Contracted Service Workers Call for $15 an Hour — In Just Two Years, Fast Food Cooks […]

Unite Union conference declares war on zero hour contracts

Tue, 12/09/2014 - 14:18
​Unite fast food delegates send a message of support to US workers By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director 150 Unite Union delegates resolved to launch a campaign in the new year to end zero hour contracts in the fast food industry at their national conference December 1-2. At their national conference Unite discussed recent […]

SkyCity cleaners beat contracting out

Fri, 12/05/2014 - 18:33
By John Crocker, SkyCity SEA-Unite organiser SEA-Unite has finally claimed victory in our 6 month campaign to oppose the outsourcing of the Cleaning Services department. The decision of the Employment Relations Authority that SkyCity was not compliant with the unions’ Collective Agreement was delivered Friday 14th of November and effectively blocks the outsourcing of the […]

Zero tolerance for zero hours

Thu, 12/04/2014 - 15:57
Fast food workers are on the frontline in the fight against zero-hour contracts, with a union saying bosses have all the power. Working the night shift a few months ago Martha, a 19-year-old KFC worker in Wellington, got into a dispute with her boss over whose job it was to finish a task. When she […]

Why bother joining a union?

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 17:04
Workers protest over how Carl’s Jr sale was handled by company By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director This past couple of weeks Unite has had a number of graphic examples on why it can make a huge difference in you work life whether you are a union member or not. 100 cleaners jobs at […]

Casual work putting pressure on families

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 13:53
By Thomas Heaton (Reprinted from the Manawatu Standard) A job market with more casual labour and an increasing number of zero-hour contracts is leaving Manawatu families wanting. Palmerston North’s Methodist Social Services food bank co-ordinator Stacey Rohloff said there were a number of people using the food bank to make up the difference. More zero-hour […]

McDonald’s Korea sacks union member for fast food activism

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 08:02
McDonald’s Korea union member dismissed for fast food activism Gahyun Lee was dismissed from her job at a McDonald’s outlet in Yeokgok, Gyeonggi Province on September 15 following her visit to Los Angeles earlier that month to support the national action by US fast food workers. Management had previously warned her about union activity in […]

Labor Leaders Speak on Ferguson Ruling

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 21:04
Portside Labor Labor Leaders Speak on Ferguson Ruling November 25, 2014 Labor unions issue statements on Ferguson. , , Trumka on Ferguson: We Cannot Deny the Perception That the System Is Not Yet Color Blind Statement from SEIU Ferguson Affects Us All: Statement of the UE General Executive Board Trumka on Ferguson: We Cannot Deny […]

The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution

Tue, 11/25/2014 - 11:58
“Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest in products for markets that cannot pay.” World Health Organisation Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan By […]

CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist Bill

Mon, 11/24/2014 - 19:46
Media release CTU will not engage in Governments sham consultation process on Terrorist Bill Today the CTU has sent a letter to Prime Minister John Key articulating serious concerns about both the content and the rushed process the Government has clearly signalled it intends to follow to progress the Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill into […]

CTU criticises poor government advice to workers on drive-offs

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 14:51
The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Jeff Sissons, CTU General Counsel, says “Clauses in employment agreements allowing employers to deduct money from workers’ wages to compensate them for loss […]

Want a Living Wage? Work at McDonald’s… in Denmark

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 13:42
Fast-food workers display signs during a protest to demand regular hiring in Quezon City, Philippines. (AP Photo/Pat Roque) By Michelle Chen Reprinted from The Nation The fast-food workers’ movement has exploded in size and reach over the past year with strikes and protests in dozens of cities. The movement seems to encapsulate rising public disgust […]

Letter to Minister on abuse of breaks law

Fri, 11/21/2014 - 08:35
Michael Woodhouse Minister of Labour Parliament Buildings Wellington 6160 20 November 2014 Dear Mr Woodhouse, Yesterday I received a concerning email from one of our union members. It stated that: “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that its now her right to decide when we take our breaks, and that since it was […]

Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers

Thu, 11/20/2014 - 14:27
Unite Union hotel workers picket 2007 The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their staff. Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This […]

Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 18:56
By Mike Treen Unite Union National Director (Reprinted from The Daily Blog) Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up […]

Christchurch chef awarded close to $175,000 in compensation

Thu, 11/13/2014 - 11:43
(Reprinted from the NZ Herald) By Sophie Ryan @SophieRyan A chef employed at a Christchurch Vietnamese restaurant has been awarded $174,356.65 after working for five years without being paid, in what the Employment Relations Authority calls one of an increasing number of cases of exploitation of migrant workers. His brother has also been awarded $14,386.73 […]

Auckland Mitre 10 MEGA fined after teen loses fingers

Wed, 11/12/2014 - 16:05
12 November 2014 Grove Hardware Limited, trading as Mitre 10 MEGA Glenfield, was fined $39,450 and ordered to pay reparation of $20,000 yesterday after an employee had two fingers partially amputated and nerve severed on another finger by a saw. The 16-year-old employee spent nine days in hospital as a result of his serious injuries. […]

Continuing crises are what this system is about

Mon, 11/10/2014 - 23:50
By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director (Reprinted from The Daily Blog) The decision of the US Federal Reserve to end its programme of “Quantitative Easing” signals a desire for a return to monetary “normalcy” in capitalist policy circles. The announcement was made on October 29, the anniversary of the 1929 crash on Wall Street—triggered […]

CTU tells select committee: you have the power to make workplaces safer

Fri, 11/07/2014 - 12:30
New Zealand Council of Trade Unions Media Release (6/11/14) The CTU today spoke to Parliament’s Transport and Industrial Relations Committee on its submission about the Health and Safety Reform Bill. CTU Vice-President Richard Wagstaff said “New Zealand workers deserve the best law possible. The Government has now instituted or supported three thorough inquiries in to […]