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SkyCity kitchen worker wants a liveable wage

Mark is a kitchen operations worker and has been with the company for 11 years. He started as one of the builders of the Sky Tower and says he struggles to afford to live on what he is being paid.

"I think it's when you work so hard at the job it's not fair that you are paid a wage that means you have to work overtime to be able to earn enough to live on."

For a normal week Mark would get $380 in the hand so he has to work overtime to be able to cover his bills. The company deducts $20 a week for parking, and after tax and health insurance, Mark is left with $231 to cover his $140 rent, $60 petrol bill and food expenses.

"Dollars are not elastic - I wish money could stretch that far but it doesn't," he says.

1000 workers start industrial action at SkyCity on weekend: 97.5% vote for 6 months of rolling strikes

Press Release: Unite Union
1 August 2008

A 24-hour strike by SkyCity workers will start 10am this Saturday until 10am Sunday.

Union-SKYCITY Negotiation Correspondence

Union-SKYCITY Negotiation Correspondence
During July 2008


As you know the union negotiations with SKYCITY are currently in dispute.

Your union bargaining team will keep union members up to date by publishing the ongoing correspondence between the unions and SKYCITY. This will include posting any future negotiation correspondence on the union notice boards (opposite Wardrobe). We’ll also email copies for those members who have given us their email address.

SkyCity and ACC

Unite is investigating what seems like a constructive dismissal of a Table Games dealer who was suffering an injury. As usual, the company made no effort to find him alternative employment and told him he should resign because they had no suitable work.

We have concerns about the company SkyCity uses as their manager of ACC claims. Because they are a big company SkyCity is able to manage its own ACC claims through Wellness NZ - a private company. We believe companies that provide this service have a vested interest in minimising claims to cut costs. This leads them to denying legitimate claims. It encourages them to look for medical consultants who satisfy this desire to cut costs.

Update on SEA-Unite negotiations

Tuesday 10 June, was the first official negotiating session. We meet again Monday 23 June.

The company was represented by: Simon Jamieson (Advocate); Ejaaz Dean (Exec manager, Table Games); Michelle Hamilton (HR); Claire Walker (HR).

An explanation was given over all the claims from the unions. The company will explain its claims next week.

The company was concerned about actions Unite Union had taken during the weekend at the International airport. TV reports had pictures of Unite national Director and SkyCity Organiser Mike Treen speaking to customers in the foodcourt through a megaphone while standing on a chair.

Sky City Dismissal Opposed

On Saturday March 22 Darren Samuels was supervising a dealer in VIP at the SkyCity casino. A mistake was made by the dealer that wasn’t immediately picked up.

The mistake he did not pick up was one all the Gaming Supervisors we have spoken to have said would be missed in 9 out of 10 cases as it involved dealing the correct card to the correct puck in Baccarat. The mistake was that the puck was in the wrong place. All supervisors agreed this is a difficult one to pick up, especially if you have a tired dealer who may not be calling correctly.

Darren is a supervisor who has been at SkyCity for 12 years.

Warnings Issued against two Sky City employees appealed

SEA-Unite is appealing the decision to give Ely and Paz Corcuera (Cleaning Services) warnings for alleged misconduct in relation to their leave earlier in the year.

Both had returned to the Philippines for a holiday and visit family. Their tickets show the return date they had notified the company for.

While there their grand daughter was admitted into intensive care with life threatening dengue fever.

Pita Phillips from Security was also on holiday there and visited the family and child in hospital.

Ely and Paz tried to notify another employee (Amy) to pass on the message to their managers that their return date had to be postponed a couple of weeks given the urgent situation and some difficulties arranging new flights.

SEA UNITE May newsletter



On May 1 Matt McCarten initiated bargaining for a new Collective Employment Agreement on behalf of all SEA-Unite and SFWU members at SkyCity. The first round of negotiations take place on Tuesday May 13. We are hoping to have weekly sessions and we will be giving weekly updates for members on the noticeboard.


Thanks to everyone who has helped on this campaign. Since the stopwork meeting on April 17 we have signed up 121 new members. We now have 3 weeks recruiting left for part one of this campaign. Incentive prizes for members who have recruited will be given on June 30.


Recent SEA-Unite Stopworks a success

400 members attended the recent SEA-Unite stopwork meetings held at SkyCity on 17 April.

The meetings were hugely successful, with dozens of new members signing up and and a firm set of claims confirmed for negotiations beginning over the next two months.

The key claims that were confirmed by members in the stopwork meetings are:

  • One year term.

  • All rates to move by about $2 an hour.

  • Additional weekend payment.

  • Overtime payments - time and a half.

  • Service pay - 18 month; 3 year; 7 year steps.

  • Incentive payments for attendance and long service.

  • Kiwisaver - 2% from member and 2% SkCity contribution (2+2).

  • Reclassification of rates to recognise skills and new duties.

SEA-Unite stopwork meetings


All SEA-Unite and SFWU members should attend one of the stop work meetings being held on April 17. The meetings will be finalising claims for the Collective Agreement negotiations in a few months time.

08:00 - 10:00
10:30 - 12:00
12:30 - 14:00
18:00 - 20:00
20:30 - 22:30
23:00 – 01:00

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