Whistleblower guard stood down by Armourguard Security

Armourguard Security have stood down a security guard from a WINZ site because he complained to his union that the company was not taking the guards health and safety seriously.

Unite union delegate Dave Toopis checking IDs at Otara Work and Income.

Dave Toopi, a Unite delegate and union executive member, complained to his union that the new ID check procedure being demanded of WINZ clients put the guards at risk because they have to act at receptionists as well as guards.

Guards are expected to stop all clients, check if they have ID, check if they have an appointment and the time of the appointment. They are holding a folder with sheets of names and appointment times. This creates holdups during busy periods. 

The union believes that this can create unnecessary tension between the clients and the guards. The guards are also in a vulnerable position when doing paperwork for WINZ and not in a position to react quickly.

Clients are often in an agitated state given the culture of denial of people's entitlements that the government has encouraged among the management staff.

Over the last decade, this has seen the number of working age people accessing welfare support fall by 5% when the unemployment rate only fell 2%.

Security Guards at Armourguard also had their RTs taken off them as a cost saving exercise. There is also no one button emergency communication mechanism available to all guards at the company as recommended by the coroner following the death of a security guard in 2013. 

These workers are barely paid above the minimum wage yet are expected to be multitasking machines. 

Unite will not accept having our member being made a victim of for standing up for the rights of his fellow workers.

For comment contact Mike Treen

National Director
Unite Union
09 8452132 ext 20
029 5254744

Related: Union Anger at MSD ID crackdown

Union Anger at MSD ID crackdown

Security guards unionised by Unite Union at MSD sites are angry with new policy changes brought in by the Government yesterday, that now sees them stopping every citizen trying to access their rights and asking them for their name, appointment, and photo ID.

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Minimum wage goal should be $20 an hour to combat poverty and inequality

Media Release from Unite Union January 24, 2016
While welcoming an increase in the minimum wage by 50 cents an hour to $15.75, Mike Treen of Unite Union says that this new level only maintains its value at about 50% of the average wage. 
"This level was reached in 2008 and we need to be more ambitious as a society. We believe the goal should be $20 or two-thirds of the average wage
"The current consumer price index is almost meaningless when it come to what people have to spend in this country to live. After rent and power have been paid there is barely enough left for food and other necessities.
"There are widespread and unacceptable levels of poverty in this country and inequality is getting out of control. One way to address those issues in a meaningful way is to progressively increase the minimum wage in real terms."
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New York protest for increase in minimum wage and a union. 

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System protects corporate thieves, cheats, and killers

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

Towards the end of last year there were a relentless series of stories of corporate malfeasance.

Pumpkin Patch shut up shop with the loss of hundreds of jobs and is refusing to pay its workers in New Zealand the redundancy pay they owe them by hiding behind a corporate structure that pretends that there were different companies involved when they all have the same ultimate owners.

“It’s really just a technicality that Pumpkin Patch Limited don’t own the stock, and its subsidiary, Pumpkin Patch Originals Ltd do,” First Union organiser Lisa Meto Fox told the November 24 NZ Herald. “They’re a wholly-owned subsidiary, the same directors and the same business,” she said.

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WINZ bosses murder a beneficiary – Paula Bennet is responsible

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

A coroner’s inquest has revealed how WINZ has adopted a punitive culture that led directly to the recent suicide of one of the people it was meant to be helping.

Celebrated former beneficiary Paula Bennet was the minister in charge at the time and should be help responsible.

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Over the past year Unite union delegates and organisers have recruited 3,855 new members. As most of you will know, turnover is very high in our industries (around 70% a year) and so we lost 3,524 members who left their jobs. However, the net gain of 331 is our best yearly increase for 5 years

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Both positions will be based in Auckland

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McDonald's worker backpaid over $1200 for being rostered Zero hours for three weeks

A 19 year old Unite union member has reclaimed over $1200 in backpay after complaining that she wasn't rostered at all, for three weeks in a row.

Stacey, who works at a McDonald's in West Auckland should have been rostered 24.5 hours per week under the secure hours system in the collective agreement, but was removed from the roster at her store after trying to reduce her availability to work for McDonald's because she secured a second job.

This sort of thing used to be more common with fast food companies casually making dramatic cuts to worker's hours or taking them off the roster completely in response to worker's wanting to reduce their availability to work for them. Now workers can reclaim backpay if they are rostered less than their secure hours number. This has led to many unite union members reclaiming backpay and rostered hours this year.

Unite union members and delegates working at McDonald's are advised to keep a close eye on their secure hours numbers and understand their rights to reclaim backpay if they are rostered less than that number. Unite members should also contact their organiser if they suspect that their secure hours number has been arbitrarily changed without their agreement.

Unite union is now taking legal action against McDonald's for failing to follow legislation introduced to ban the use of Zero Hour contracts in New Zealand. The union has found that McDonald's are putting many new staff on three-hour minimum contracts and refusing to pay compensation for being available to work additional shifts as required by the law. The company is are also refusing to offer hours to existing staff before hiring new staff.

Well done Stacey.

 

Gary Cranston
Fast Food Organiser
West Auckland & Northland
029 4555 979

KFC union delegate goes above and beyond during Gisborne power outage

During the recent power outage in Gisborne our delegate and newly elected Unite Union Executive member and KFC worker Memory Leach went above and beyond her duties.

When the power went out Memory was still asleep as she had worked the night shift. She was awoken by members in the store ringing her telling her that the Restaurant Manager has told them all to go home, but they were scared that if they left they will not be paid.

Memory rocked up in her Unite Union hoodie and a thermos of hot tea and coffee in hands. The restaurant manager asked what she was doing there and Memory stated that she had brought the staff a hot drink and was there to make sure the workplace was safe for them to be in. Memory explained that she was making sure there was adequate lighting, ventilation and clean water for them to wash there hands. She also took a note of who was on shift at that time and took a photo of the roster to make sure that everyone will be paid, as no one was certain when the power was going to be turned back on.

Later that day Memory also notified members of where the water tankers were in Gisborne and that the City council was cooking sausages for people who couldn't cook anything or afford gas for the BBQs. She also went to Pizza Hut and Carls Jr to make sure they all were aware of their rights during the outage.

The next day Memory shot down to the City Council to make sure that the water was still safe to drink and again with another hot thermos of tea and coffee she went into KFC to recheck everything was running smoothly. By that time the generators were up and running but the store was not yet opened as the chicken had not been delivered. As it was the end of the pay week she mentioned to the Restaurant Manager "does payroll know which hours and which staff need to be paid for yesterday?". The Restaurant Manager quickly sorted it out.

Delegates are leading the way and being empowered to stand up and help others.


 

"I would not have had the strength, courage or knowledge to do anything like this had it not been firstly for my Menbers and the amazing  encouragement from Unite Union.

I am passionate about looking after our members and put my heart and soul into standing up for what is right. Huge thank you to Unite Union for giving me the tools to do so, I hope to make not only Unite proud but also my team during my time on this Journey and will continue to do so for as long as they will have me.

Once again Thank you Unite for equipping my with all this knowledge to STAND UP & FIGHT BACK!!!!!"

- Memory Leach, KFC Gisborne