all Call Centre news

After 3 years Salmat Call Centre workers want increase

Last Monday, 21 February, Unite members at the Salmat call centre went on strike for two hours and held a very lively, upbeat picket outside the company’s office on Great South Road, Penrose.

In a very spirited picket 40 members took part with 12 new members joining on the day. After three years of no pay increases the workers rejected the company offer of an extra days leave after one year service and two days after two years service. They decided to strike.

Naming and shaming bad employers – Vodafone fits the bill

Unite Union 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.”

“Vodafone expects most of our union members employed at its contact centres in Auckland to continue going backwards despite the company having a tremendous year reaping windfall revenues off the back of Telecom’s XT troubles.”

Union boycott on Colmar Brunton market research after more than 50 job losses

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.

“Unite will be asking its members and the public not to take part in Colmar Brunton surveys in the New Year, especially not the cigarette surveys they run for British American Tobacco,” continued Mr. Treen.

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

The Rat PatrolUnite Union members will picket 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.*

"Lisa Stoneham, a young worker, left a previous job to take up employment at the call centre. Days into her job however, she was told that she was fired and has now enrolled for an unemployment benefit,” said Wellington Unite organiser Matt Jones.

Working in a call centre without a union

Call for change grows louderWhile 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.

Unite - the union for call centre workers

Call Centre delegates
On Friday 4th of September union delegates from some of Auckland’s biggest call centres met for a training day and for workshops on health & safety; bargaining, resolving employment problems, representing members in a disciplinary matter and building worker’s power through organising and campaigning.

During the day we got them to talk about what Unite means to them, why they joined or why they became a union delegate.


Minimum Breaks - It’s the law

Up until recently some workers at Hoyts cinemas have been employed on the minimum 3 hour shift there and not been getting a paid break.

Christchurch Unite organiser Joe Davies pointed out to Hoyts that they were in breach of the law (as of April 1st 2009), and they have now modified their breaks practice.

Now any employee working the three hour shift will get a 15 minute paid break.

By law employees are entitled to a minimum of:

- one 10-minute paid rest break if their work period is 2 hours or more but not more than 4 hours

- one 10-minute paid rest break and one unpaid 30-minute meal break if their work period is more than 4 hours but not more than 6 hours

Tougher regulation of temping agencies needed

Unite Union is calling for tougher regulation of temping agencies and greater protection for temporary employees after a call centre worker was sacked via text message for asking for a couple of days extra time off to attend to duties at a close relatives tangi.

A young female call centre employee engaged by the Kelly Services temporary employment agency to work in the south Auckland call centre of Sky Television was told not to return to work after telling her Supervisor she needed additional time off to attend a relatives tangi out of town. She had been working full time at Sky Television continuously for 6 months.

Matt McCarten: Aussie bosses will rue treating Kiwi politeness as weakness

Herald on Sunday
19th April 2009

The Facts about the Synovate lock out in New Zealand

A lock out and a strike are very different. A strike is when workers temporarily stop work. A lock out is when the company refuses to allow union members to work until they have either left the union or accepted the company’s terms of employment. In this case it was a 20 cent pay rise now and 15 cents in six months. Lock outs are an attempt to starve workers back to work and are a very nasty tactic to use against workers who receive below the poverty line wages.

Pay rises have been agreed to. The Memorandum of Understanding is clear

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