Is my subsidised pay correct? Unite Union releases wage subsidy calculator

To help workers who have seen their pay cut to 80% and whose employer has applied for the wage subsidy Unite Union has developed an online calculator at With just the average weekly income and regular weekly hours a worker should be able to calculate what gross pay (before tax and other deductions) they should receive. 


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Let's change NZ's welfare system now - before this health crisis becomes a child poverty crisis

Unite Union fully supports this call from the Child Poverty Action Group for urgent changes to be made to our social support system in this time of crisis.

As the Ministry of Social Development struggles to cope with unprecedented inquiries due to Covid-19, Child Poverty Action Group is calling for the Government to fix our broken welfare system and redesign it so all New Zealanders, but particularly our children, get the support they need during this crisis.



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SkyCity redundancies: Union leader loses job - no consultation, no options, just sacked

SkyCity has broken the law by sacking hundreds of workers as of today with no consultation or discussion. Salaried managers at SkyCity were told on Friday that their jobs would finish today. Their letter of notice states clearly that the decision has already been made and there will be no consultation or consideration of any alternatives or other options.


Included in the 200 redundancies is Julia Liu, a Sea-Unite union leader at the casino. Ms Liu is a Food and Beverage Manager.. “I cannot believe that they are just firing so many workers like myself without any chance to discuss what options there are. After 21 years it is simply you are fired.” said Ms Liu

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The lockdown and workers - update from Unite Union

Kia ora Unite members,

Union literally means together (as does "Unite") and that is the only way we are all going to get through this crisis. Just because we can't meet face to face doesn't mean we can't stick together and look after each other.

We have, as you might expect, been inundated with queries and requests for advice and assistance. Unite organisers and support staff are all working their normal hours at this stage but, obviously, will be working from home. Organisers have always been set up to work remotely and our support staff have made arrangements to make sure we can continue as normally as possible for as long as possible.

Our union and organisers contact details are here. If you leave us a message please make sure you include your name, where you work normally, a contact phone number (mobile phone preferred) and how urgently you need help. We can't promise to have answers to all your questions about work and pay but we will do our best to answer or help in whatever way we can.



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Lockdown Was Necessary And Now Guaranteed Income Support And Protections Are Vital

Unite union fully supports the government’s move to a lockdown.

“We had so many emails, calls and messages from members genuinely fearful for their health and that of their families if they were forced to keep going to work” said National Secretary Gerard Hehir.

The union has had many reports, including photos and videos, of preventative measures that were supposed to be in place not being adhered to or the extra resources to achieve them not being provided.


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Pizza Delivery is NOT an essential service

Unite Union today called for Pizza shops, other takeaways and non-essential retailers to be told they need to close.

Dominoes have announced they will remain open delivery and have even turned the announcement into a publicity stunt, offering free pizza to the elderly. We are hearing reports that Hell Pizzas intend to continue operating and staff told they must show up to work.

There will be marginal calls as to what is “essential”. This is not one of them.

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The Hospitality industry's sick secret

sick_cook.pngDenial of basic sick leave rights to hospitality workers is a now a major threat to the whole country according to Unite Union.

Unite has written to all employers it deals with to ask what plans they have to minimise risk to their employees and urging them to extend paid sick leave if employees have to stay away from work because of the covid-19 virus.

“We are very worried that workers will be directly forced, or have no choice but, to come into work even if they are sick” says Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.

“These are the people making your burgers and fries, cleaning your hotel room and filling up your bucket of popcorn to eat at the movies. No number of signs about hand washing, policies and tick boxes are going to protect customers and other employees if workers are coughing and sneezing while they prepare food and clean.”

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The migrant worker crisis is Government-induced and will intensify exploitation

By Mike Treen, National Director of Unite Union

(Reprinted from The Daily Blog)

The government has announced a series of changes that will only intensify the crisis around migrant worker exploitation.

The government has allowed a significant reduction in approvals for permanent residency from the long-term guidance number of around 45,000 annually to only 35,000.
At the same time, there has been a continuing boost to the number of people allowed to come and work on temporary work (170,000) or student visas (100,000) to over 270,000 a year with a similar number here at any one time. This is up 50% on numbers just a decade ago.
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NZ Labour News, January 2020

As we kick off 2020 and a new year of hope for New Zealand's working families, many are still struggling for the most basic of rights and security.

Living Wage Banner New Zealand. FIRST Union

A living wage banner hangs in Manukau Westfield Shopping Centre (FIRST Union)

Cotton On Blindsides Workers

Multinational chain Cotton On abruptly closed two stores in Porirua's North City Shopping Centre, which were given only days notice of the closing of their workplaces, and are now boarded up and inaccessible. The closure of Cotton On Kids is expected to follow.
While some staff have been offered redeployment within a 30km radius, they are unsure of what redundancy will be available to them, or when they would begin new roles. 
"This was short-notice, impulsive, solely profit-focused and insensitive to long-serving staff," said organiser Richie Morris, who works for FIRST Union, which represents the workers.
Cotton On workers have been calling for a living wage for over a year, but the company has not returned to the bargaining table for the last four months.
Last month retail workers demonstrated outside the company's busiest stores across the country, calling for a living wage and wearing t-shirts saying, "Cotton H(on)est - Living Wage."  Distribution centre staff have also carried out full or partial strike actions, after exhausting other cooperative avenues.
"Let's be clear -- Cotton On are the largest global retailer in Australia, and they turned over more than $2 billion AUD in the last financial year. They have a workforce of 22,000 people across 18 countries, and every day they choose not to pay them a fair wage." said FIRST Union Secretary Tali Williams.
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KFC worker threatened with sack over sexual harassment post on Facebook

Nick Batistich, 22, was called to a disciplinary meeting on the last working day before Christmas and told he faced possible dismissal for a Facebook post which was heavily critical of KFC's parent company, Restaurant Brands.

The company has been embroiled in controversy over sexual assault and harassment by managers, since multiple workers at its KFC and Pizza Hut stores went public in December with a range of complaints. 

They included a woman who was raped three times by her manager

Last week, wage theft and doctoring timesheets at a Christchurch KFC outlet were added to the list of claims from workers at KFC and Pizza Hut stores nationwide.

Nick Batistich, 22, was called to a disciplinary meeting just before Christmas and told he faced possible dismissal for a Facebook post which was heavily critical of KFC's parent company, Restaurant Brands.
David White/Stuff
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