US: We Are Winning the Fight for $15

What started with 200 workers striking in New York has ballooned into a national movement wielding real political power.

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The Future of Work: A nightmare or arena of struggle

The Future of Work Conference sponsored by the Labour Party last week was a stimulating look at a range of ideas for dealing with the challenges that the current system is preparing for people in the 21st Century.

However, for many speakers there appeared to be a technological determinism that I believe should be resisted. This involves a belief that change is inevitable, the outcome will be widespread loss of jobs and increased insecurity, and all we can do is try and minimise the damage.

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Employers holiday pay cheating can be stopped!

By Mike Treen, National Director Unite Union

reported on The Daily Blog last month of cases Unite had brought against major employers whom we had accused of stealing holiday pay from their staff.

Last week MBIE, the government agency responsible for enforcing legal minimum standards like the Holidays Act, reported that they were guilty of similar unlawful practices with their own staff and a many were due for a back payment.


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What’s Behind the Rise in Income Inequality? Technology or Class Struggle?

The following article has been reprinted from Counterpunch. The author, Matt Vidal is Senior Lecturer in Work and Organizations at King’s College London, Department of Management. He is editor-in-chief of Work in Progress, a public sociology blog of American Sociological Association, where this article first ran. You can follow Matt on Twitter @ChukkerV.

The author's conclusions are similar to my own when I looked at the course of the growth of inequality in New Zealand over the last few decades. 

The issues he discusses are also relevant to the discussion planned to the Future of Work Conference being hosted by the Labour Party this week.

Mike Treen (Unite Union National Director)

By Matt Vidal

Over the past three decades, income inequality has risen in most of the 34 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A recent analysis of 22 OECD countries from 1985 to 2013 found that inequality increased in 17 of them (including the US, UK, Canada and Germany), underwent little change in four (Belgium, Netherlands, France, Greece) and declined in only one (Turkey). Over the same period, in the 17 richest countries GDP growth primarily benefitted the top 10% of the population, with the bottom 40% receiving little from a quarter century of growth.


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Our Climate is Not Your Business!

Join us at SkyCity this Monday the 21st of March for #RealClimateAction

Following on from the fantastic Union turnout at last year's People's Climate Marches, union members are invited to join in a day of "Peaceful civil disobedience" against the Oil Conference at the SkyCity Convention centre this Monday. The events will be co-ordinated by Greenpeace and inspired by Te Whiti and Tohu of Parihaka, by Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr.


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Govt warned of multinational tax rort in 2013

The IRD warned the Government in 2013 of massive, systematic tax avoidance by multinational companies but National is still to act on it, the Green Party said today.

The New Zealand Herald today released analysis that showed multinational companies operating in New Zealand could have avoided paying up to $500 million in tax last year. The IRD warned both the Ministers of Finance and Revenue in 2013 that multinationals were avoiding tax by profit shifting and that work to protect the New Zealand tax base “should be a key focus” of tax policy work over the next 18 months.


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Coming soon to a cinema near you... Secure hours for cinema workers!

By Nadia Abu-Shanab, Cinema Organiser

With a historic law change and international media attention before the fight has even begun, cinema workers are feeling confident about winning greater security around hours in their upcoming contract negotiations.

Unite members at Event, Hoyts and Reading Cinemas will be renegotiating their collective agreements this March and April. One big issue identified in cinema claims meetings across the country was a lack of security around hours.

In last year's contract negotiations, Unite won guaranteed 30 hours for a portion of cinema workers at Hoyts and Event Cinemas. However, many cinema members are still on zero-hour agreements. This means there are no guarantees around their minimum hours.


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The real heroes of the end to zero hours

By Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union

On Thursday, March 10, the New Zealand parliament unanimously passed a law that will eliminate zero hour contracts for New Zealand workers.

Nearly every party represented in parliament is claiming victory. National claimed they are the ones to have introduced this law. Labour says it is their amendments that make it a reality. The Maori Party and United Future say that their withdrawal of support for the National draft forced this change. All of that is true.

But the true authors of this law are the thousands of members of Unite Union in the fast food industry who have been fighting insecure hours for a decade and who named and shamed fast food employers as users of zero-hour contracts.


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Unite targets fast food employers in Holiday Pay breach

Unite is writing to all the major fast food companies today to seek a reassurance they will now comply with the law.

We wrote to these companies almost a year ago seeking their cooperation in fixing what seemed an obvious problem.

They all tried to deny they were breaking the law.We also wrote to MBIE in July last year asking what their advice was to companies who used these type of calculations for annual leave.

Underpayment of workers’ holiday pay appears to be routine.


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Unite Union hails legal end to zero hour contracts

Unite Union has welcomed the legal end to zero-hour contracts in New Zealand.

This is a product of the successful campaign that Unite Union waged last year to end their use in the fast food industry.When we named the type of contracts these employers were using as zero hour contracts there was an immediate and overwhelming response from the public and sections of media.

When we named the type of contracts these employers were using as zero hour contracts there was an immediate and overwhelming response from the public and sections of media.


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