SkyCity workers have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to get SkyCity to recognise that workers should be compensated for the unsociable hours they do so that the casino can rake in the cash at nights and weekends.
Almost 900 of the casinos employees are members of Unite Union, under the SEA-Unite banner (SEA = SkyCity Employees Association) and voted 94% to reject the last offer and 97% for strike action at meetings last week. A strike notice has been issued for 5pm Saturday 31st August to 8am Sunday morning. Mediation is not available until Friday 6th September.
The main union claim is for penal rates at nights and weekends to reward and encourage staff who are willing and able to work these hours and, crucially, allow others some choice about their work hours.
The campaign is called “Back to the Weekend” to underline the rights of employees to be able to choose to spend more weekends with family and friends like most other workers.
“The basic problem is that SkyCity needs most of its workers at weekends and nights and makes most of its income during that time – but prefers to use the ‘stick’ rather than the ‘carrot’ to get staff at these times “ says lead negotiator and Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.Read more
AIL's Managing Director Steve Friedlander and PR Manager Mario Soljan
Unite Union is appealing to Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway to allow seven Chinese construction workers to be allowed to stay in New Zealand so they can testify in an Employment Relations Authority hearing scheduled for October and November this year.
The seven workers are part of a group of 30 who are taking legal action against National Personnel Limited for failing to comply with their employment agreements during the second half of last year when dozens of workers arrived expecting full-time work and the company was unable or unwilling to provide that work. NPL also evicted them from their shared accommodation in January this year.
NPL only started giving most of them guaranteed work after a legal case was initiated against them at the end of last year.
All applicants should have the right to participate in the case. It is wrong to force the seven listed below out of New Zealand before then because their one-year visas have expired.
Restaurant Brands Ltd (RBL), is asking staff to authorise the deduction of so-called overpayments from the annual leave money they owe their current and former staff. RBL employ people at KFC, Pizza Hut, and Carl's Jr. They formerly owned Starbucks.
Unite Union is strongly advising our current members and is contacting former members to ask them NOT to do that.
RBL are only paying back a fraction of what they owe current and former staff. In those circumstances, they have no right to ask you to allow them to deduct what they claim are overpayments.
RBL is only remediating their incorrect leave calculations back to May 2012. Unite wrote to them four years ago and they should have gone back six years from then, to 2009, to remediate the problems.
Current staff should have already received a letter detailing what is owed and repayments should begin after July 8.
They must legally pay you all of the underpayment. You don't have to sign the letter to get this money.
If you sign the letter and return it to RBL you will be allowing the company to deduct the so-called overpayment.
Why should you do this when the company has got all their workers to work without breaks in the past without compensation for that.
UNITE UNION ADVISES ALL MEMBERS NOT TO SIGN AN AUTHORISATION TO DEDUCT FOR SO-CALLED OVERPAYMENTS
Go to our Stop wage Theft facebook page for more information, "Like" the page.
Restaurant Brands, covering staff at KFC, Carl's Jr, Pizza Hut and Starbucks, has agreed to pay current and former staff money owed for consistently getting annual leave entitlements wrong for many years.
Anyone who worked for these brands at any time after May 2012 will most probably be eligible for some back pay.
Former staff are being asked to register their claim at the following website:
You will need a copy of a photo ID, your IRD number and proof of a current bank account number.
Anyone who worked for Restaurant Brands after May 2012 should register.
Hospital Attendants at Waikato Hospital are striking for 24 hours on Thursday 6th June for a Living Wage.
The one hundred attendants, members of Unite Union, have been in negotiations with the Waikato District Health Board since November last year.
The main claim was simply a Living Wage. Almost all the other union claims were either dropped or reduced significantly during bargaining to try to get the Health Board to agree to pay their lowest paid workers a wage they can live on according to lead negotiator and Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.
“The board, on the other hand, has tabled one wage offer and refused to even slightly amend it, even at mediation last week. That’s why the Attendants feel they have no choice but to take strike action.”
“Twenty dollars an hour is absolutely justified as a base rate for the work. The Hamilton City Council has embraced the Living Wage for all employees, the “core” public service has the Living Wage, but the lowest paid hospital workers are still denied it - go figure.”Read more
The last round of negotiations saw huge improvements to Union Members Collective agreement with Burger King. We need to ensure that Union Members are seeing the benefits of this, so do contact us if:Read more
Media Release from Unite Union:
KFC is off the menu this weekend as hundreds of Fast Food workers employed by Restaurant Brands and members of Unite Union take strike action this weekend.
Over the past week, members have been voting on the latest offer as well as on a secret ballot to authorise strike action. 89% of the 763 who took part rejected the offer and 88% voted to take strike action and Unite Union sent RBL a notice this morning of a strike beginning at 2pm this afternoon and finishing at 2am on Monday morning.
Margins for skilled workers slashed
“After 6 full days of negotiations Restaurant Brands is still insisting on cutting the margins for skilled and trained employees above the starting rate,” said Unite National Secretary and Lead Negotiator Gerard Hehir.
Most of the margins have been cut in half in RBL’s last offer, with the qualified Pizza Hut “Expert” reduced to only 25 cents per hour above the starting rate, when it has been 80 cents.
“RBL has been forced to increase the starting rate by the minimum wage increase and to match the $18 start rate of major competitors like McDonald's - but they want their skilled and trained staff to pay the cost. Low wage employers need to realise that they can’t get away with just increasing their lowest rate only and undervaluing their experienced and skilled staff”.Read more