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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Hotels booming

A recent report produced by Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand (TIANZ) is predicting an explosion of work in the tourism and hospitality industries over the next decade. This is good news for workers as TIANZ estimates an extra 47,000 employees will be needed in this sector to service the expanding industry.

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Accor Hotels Unite Union bargaining team in this years negotiations

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Luxury Hotels exploiting workers through wage theft

By Shanna Reeder, National Hotels Organiser for Unite Union

Unite Union has been uncovering dodgy dealings in some of New Zealand’s most luxurious hotels.

For the past four years, Unite has been investigating a number of well-known hotel brands for a practice known as the "credit system," whereby hotel housekeepers (known these days as Room Attendants) are being paid per room.

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Government boasts of benefit theft

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

A government media release on January 21 boasted that:

Benefit numbers continue steady yearly decline. Social Development Minister Anne Tolley says the number of people receiving a benefit is continuing to decline year on year with a 2.5 percent drop in the number of people receiving a main benefit between December 2014 and December 2015. “The number of people receiving a main benefit has fallen by almost 7,800, or 2.5 percent in the last 12 months,” Mrs Tolley says.

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Make the minimum wage a living wage!

By Mike Treen, Unite Union National Director

Today's announcement of a 50 cent increase in the minimum wage from April 1 will still mean workers unable to survive on a full-time wage and the state subsidising employers who pay low wages. 

Minimum wage announcements are an entirely political process.

The minimum wage is currently about 52% of the average wage. It reached this level under Labour in 2008 and has been maintained at that level by National.

The previous National government, however, increased the minimum only once in nine years and allowed it to decline to around one-third of the average wage.

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