Tag Archives: Union News

Union News to 10/10/12

10 Oct



Demolition derby: National’s approach to solving unemployment by Sue Bradford http://pundit.co.nz/content/demolition-derby-nationals-approach-to-solving-unemployment

Teens hit back over proposed youth wage http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7794054/Teens-hit-back-over-proposed-youth-wage

Youth wage seen as sending ‘a poor message’ http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbnat/1055361113-youth-wage-seen-as-sending–a-poor-message-

Call for same minimum wage for all workers http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/call-same-minimum-wage-all-workers-video-5124406

Dave Feickert: Dark day as coal mines shuttered http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10837523

Foot chopped off in accident at Port of Tauranga http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10839569

Indian workers keen to unite http://www.indianweekender.co.nz/Pages/ArticleDetails/7/3265/New-Zealand/Indian-workers-keen-to-unite

New Port union deal ‘inferior’ says MU http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7775653/New-Port-union-deal-inferior-says-MU

Ports demo Teal Park Oct 5 http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151250774682889.519811.596362888&type=1

Govt’s ‘starting out’ wage rubbished http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7787031/Govts-starting-out-wage-rubbished

Lower wages no solution https://unitenews.wordpress.com/2012/10/09/lower-wages-no-solution/

So-called ‘free market’ thrives on the enslavement of others http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/227867/so-called-free-market-thrives-enslavement-others

Helen Kelly on the Health and Safety Taskforce

Union joins international campaign for decent work http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00086/union-joins-international-campaign-for-decent-work.htm

Govt needs to send clear message about migrant work abuse http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1210/S00121/govt-needs-to-send-clear-message-about-migrant-work-abuse.htm

Key’s Film Jobs Being Filled by Migrants http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00081/keys-film-jobs-being-filled-by-migrants.htm

Maritime Union laughs off rival in Auckland port dispute http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838820

The Union Report with Syd Keepa & Laila Harre: Issue 1: How significant a step between Maoridom and the Union movement was the Tauranga hui last month? Issue 2: Solid Energy jobs on the line – what should Government do to protect them? Issue 3: How does publishing National Standards on line help parents make decisions? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM1gX89KdIs&list=UU7Jit_xt-bd0g_Z8CIneUeg

NZ probe into child labour claims http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838723

Korean fishing firm gags crew with ‘peace’ contract http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7779794/Korean-fishing-firm-gags-crew-with-peace-contract

Tiwai workers want Govt intervention http://www.3news.co.nz/Tiwai-workers-want-Govt-intervention/tabid/421/articleID/271703/Default.aspx

Crew who fled fishing boat seek $917,000 http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7754330/Crew-who-fled-fishing-boat-seek-917-000


Bryce Edwards: Political round-up: The politicisation of poverty http://www.nzherald.co.nz/best-of-political-analysis/news/article.cfm?c_id=1502734&objectid=10839172

Solutions sought to poverty http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/7777248/Solutions-sought-to-poverty

Protester’s plea to minister http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10839487

Hunger striker fights for kids http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/northland/northern-news/7788321/Hunger-striker-fights-for-kids

Harawira praises hunger striker http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10837346

Sam Kuha facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sam-Kuha-Campaign/466039110107129

Over 57,000 benefits sanctioned http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/15079608/over-57-000-benefits-sanctioned/

Nation-wide protests oppose welfare reforms http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/nation-wide-protests-oppose-welfare-reforms-5116865

Matt McCarten: No need to starve yourself, just give poor some more http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10838827

Child Poverty Special report: Searching for a way out http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838726

Six of the best ideas for change http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838701

Jonathan Boston: Three myths about child poverty http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10839028

National Day of Action against Welfare Reforms – Mana Party http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1210/S00107/national-day-of-action-against-welfare-reforms-mana-party.htm

Battle against beneficiary bashing http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7759711/Battle-against-beneficiary-bashing

The latest issue of the New Zealand Council of Christian Social Services’ newsletter Kete Kupu is now online. Kete Kupu includes information and commentary on a wide range of social service issues and provides updates and commentary on social service policy and practice. Some of the higlights of this September 2012 issue include: Help the Children’s Commissioner do well for our kids; Liability or Citizen? Welfare Reform; Income Inequality Reaches News Heights; Taking Action on Reducing Inequality; Poor Quality Housing is making our children & older people sick; Watch Out For Burnout; Quality of Care in Rest Homes http://www.nzccss.org.nz/uploads/publications/KeteKupu%2024%20%28web%29.pdf

Govt signals it will feed hungry kids http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10838730

Homeless problem demands attention http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7779779/Homeless-problem-demands-attention

Business eye on poverty report http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10838658

1400 Kiwis try poverty for a week http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10837292


EPMU call urgent meeting to tackle job crisis http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10839181

Kim Hill interviews journalist Max Rashbrooke on his upcoming book about the increasing divide between rich and poor in New Zealand – listen to: Max Rashbrooke – social inequality and boarding houses. http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20121006-0940-max_rashbrooke_-_social_inequality_and_boarding_houses-048.mp3

Income survey shows stagnant incomes for most New Zealand families http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00052/income-survey-shows-stagnant-incomes-for-most-nz-families.htm

Jane Kelsey: Hollywood lays down its own law http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10839218

CTU: New ideas to manage the exchange rate welcomed http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1210/S00077/new-ideas-to-manage-the-exchange-rate-welcomed.htm

TPPWatch Action Bulletin #18 – 29 September 2012 http://www.nznotforsale.org/2012/10/01/tppwatch-action-bulletin-18-29-september-2012/

Aus banks making more money from Kiwis – Greens http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7773762/Aus-banks-making-more-money-from-Kiwis-Greens

So-called ‘free market’ thrives on the enslavement of others http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/227867/so-called-free-market-thrives-enslavement-others

The case for Financial Transaction Taxes in NZ: A FACT SHEET http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/3084113/the-case-for-financial-transaction-taxes-in-nz-pdf-august-18-2011-5-28-pm-454k?da=y


Digital Rollout spells end of an era in NZ cinemas

2 Oct

With the announcement of Fox Studios that they will stop the distribution of 35mm films, the Digital Rollout in Aotearoa has speeded up in both Hoyts and Events.

By the end of 2012, the share of 35mm will decline to 37 percent of global cinema screens, with digital accounting for the remaining 63 percent. This will accelerate, and as Universal and Warner Brothers wind down their 35mm operations, spells the end of an era in cinemas. Workers in Reading Cinemas should also prepare themselves.

I was at a poignant meeting of projectionists who received word of the restructure at the Queen Street site. High up, through the roof in the Glass Elevator, lies a darkened flickering cavern, where projectionists have played their reels as projectionists have done around the world for over a hundred years. All to be replaced by the USB from Hell. Movies are now huge digital files, too mega for Kim Dotcom to upload, which will be injested into an increasingly automated system, with the computerised TMS (Theatre Management System) replacing humans with an iTunes like playlist of films. And, as we know, from Hal in 2001 to the Cylons in Battlestar Galactica, everything will go much more smoothly once machines replace us all. 🙂

Cinema workers strike against youth rates and low pay in the industry

Unite is there for all workers facing this Digital Rollout. We will argue for redeployment where possible, with workers at least keeping the payscale and hours that they had before. The working class principles of Last IN, First Out should apply to any remaining projectionist shifts. For those who do not want to move to Front of House and wish to move on, we will fight hard for the best exit package possible, to fit the workers length of service to the company.
For more information, please text Joe Carolan at 029 4455702

Union News to 28/9/12

28 Sep

Strike averted as NZ Bus and Unions reach agreement http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/strike-averted-nz-bus-and-unions-reach-agreement/5/135467

Disgraceful injury figures show health and safety policy needs to change http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00206/injury-figures-show-health-and-safety-policy-needs-to-change.htm

Shocking work death toll revealed in report http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7686055/Shocking-work-death-toll-revealed-in-report

Injured workers would fill Eden Park four times over http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/injured-workers-would-fill-eden-park-four-times-over-5085775

Historic CTU/Iwi Relationship Hui – Hui Whakawhanaungatanga http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00213/historic-ctuiwi-relationship-hui.htm

Work trials ‘adding to skills shortages’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7666692/Work-trials-adding-to-skills-shortages

Bullying rife in public service – survey http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7664815/Bullying-rife-in-public-service-survey

Public sector pay lags private firms http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/7664578/Public-sector-pay-lags-behind-private-firms

Port dispute unresolved a year on http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7671598/Port-dispute-unresolved-a-year-on

ACIL confused about their role in Port of Auckland dispute http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1209/S00276/acil-confused-about-their-role-in-port-of-auckland-dispute.htm

Port secrecy fuels Labour law bid http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10834473

Ports of Auckland wharfie dispute hasn’t gone away http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/ports-auckland-wharfie-dispute-hasnt-gone-away-ca-128266

Auckland bus drivers vote against offer from NZ Bus http://www.firstunion.org.nz/content/auckland-bus-drivers-vote-against-offer-nz-bus-0

Organised student job scam probed http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832529

The online submission to support extending paid parental leave is now live and circulating! Please spread amongst your networks, Facebook pages, twitter accounts and websites – Thanks! http://www.actionstation.org.nz/campaigns/26-for-babies/submission/more-time-for-babies

Union accuses Govt of a cop-out http://www.3news.co.nz/Union-accuses-Govt-of-a-cop-out/tabid/1607/articleID/269121/Default.aspx

Spring Creek: Hundreds of jobs to go http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836211

EPMU: Miners to travel to Beehive to plead for jobs, communities http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00296/miners-to-travel-to-beehive-to-plead-for-jobs-communities.htm

Union Report: In this week’s episode: Issue 1 – 6% GDP with 6.8% unemployment rate, how does the economy provide the momentum to create growth and secure jobs? Issue 2 – Are safe staffing and healthy workplaces being ignored for cost cutting? Issue 3 – Does the real cost of private prisons make a mockery of the public private model?


Exit strategy: Has the ACC been on a determined campaign to “exit” long-term claimants? And does it use select doctors for its medical assessments with one principal aim – to reduce costs? http://www.tv3.co.nz/September-9th—Exit-Strategy/tabid/1343/articleID/79380/Default.aspx#ixzz26h1ElolC

ACC pays specialists $500,000 a year http://www.3news.co.nz/ACC-pays-specialists-500000-a-year/tabid/1607/articleID/269243/Default.aspx

ACC specialist stats revealed by Greens http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10833828

Editorial: ACC assessments need independence http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/7684231/Editorial-ACC-assessments-need-independence

Winz joins ACC in firing line for ‘hatchet doctors’ http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/7686104/Winz-joins-ACC-in-firing-line-for-hatchet-doctors


CTU: Jobless growth http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00261/jobless-growth.htm

Peter Conway: Inequality is now at its highest level http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/7688627/Inequality-is-now-at-its-highest-level

CTU secretary Peter Conway

Peter Lyons: My top ten economic contradictions and con jobs http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10833333

Critics Gearing up for TPP round in Auckland in December http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1209/S00246/critics-already-gearing-up-for-tpp-round-in-auckland.htm

Parliamentary Services Monthly Economic Review (September) http://www.parliament.nz/NR/rdonlyres/D6DA06E8-0368-46C0-805A-CF6A90016AEF/241896/Sep13.pdf

A ‘Dear John’ letter on trade http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/local-blogs/off-pat/7694565/A-Dear-John-letter-on-trade

Deborah Gleeson: US proposal on Pharmac a bitter pill http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836007

CTU: Highest Ever Loss of Kiwis to Australia http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00276/highest-ever-loss-of-kiwis-to-australia.htm


Thousands of Kiwi children living in poverty http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/thousands-kiwi-children-living-in-poverty-5099909

Blame game won’t prevent poverty http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/columnists/chris-trotter/7724070/Blame-game-won-t-prevent-poverty

Welfare protest – back to the cells by Sue Bradford http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/welfare-protest-back-to-the-cells

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s yawning credibility gap http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/09/24/gordon-campbell-on-paula-bennetts-yawning-credibility-gap/

Precious little sense on Planet Paula By Tapu Misa http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10834480

Latest reforms an atrocious attack on NZ’s most vulnerable http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00224/latest-reforms-an-atrocious-attack-on-nzs-most-vulnerable.htm

Gordon Campbell on Paula Bennett’s latest welfare plans and Labour’s exchange rate cynicism http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/09/12/gordon-campbell-on-paula-bennetts-latest-welfare-plans-and-labours-exchange-rate-cynicism/

Poverty group slams sanctions for beneficiaries http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/poverty-group-slams-sanctions-beneficiaries-5075347

Lunchbox differences in decile 1 and decile 10 schools http://www.3news.co.nz/Lunchbox-differences-in-decile-1-and-decile-10-schools/tabid/367/articleID/269617/Default.aspx

Take a step to end child poverty By Metiria Tūrei http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Take-a-step-to-end-child-poverty/tabid/721/articleID/30738/Default.aspx

‘One strike’ rule for beneficiaries http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10834762

Gareth Morgan: Benefit tightening won’t reduce unemployment http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10836003

Hunger strike goes on http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10835932

NZCCSS Policy Watch September 2012 http://christiansocialservices.blogspot.co.nz/

Welfare ‘reform’ – Paula Bennett’s 143-page second welfare changes bill is out – with a nasty added sting in the tail. http://thestandard.org.nz/welfare-reform/

Arrests at Auckland protest over benefit plans http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7696512/Arrests-at-Auckland-protest-over-benefit-plans

Union news 6/9/12

6 Sep


Community, churches and unions unite around call to lift pay http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00462/community-churches-and-unions-unite-around-call-to-lift-pay.htm

CTU: Forestry Sectors “One Trick Pony” insufficient to end workplace toll http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00334/forestry-sectors-one-trick-pony-wont-end-workplace-toll.htm

Minimum wage increase: results may surprise http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/222593/minimum-wage-increase-results-may-surprise

Forestry Sectors “One Trick Pony” insufficient to end workplace toll http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00334/forestry-sectors-one-trick-pony-wont-end-workplace-toll.htm

Auckland ports dispute far from over | Te Waha Nui Clipped from: http://www.tewahanui.info/twn/index.php/auckland-ports-dispute-far-from-over/

Code of practice needed for workplace bullying http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00372/code-of-practice-needed-for-workplace-bullying.htm

‘Someone could die’ – rail workers speak out http://www.3news.co.nz/Someone-could-die—rail-workers-speak-out/tabid/1607/articleID/266417/Default.aspx#ixzz24cnqpx13

CTU: Reduce inequality: lift wages http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00353/reduce-inequality-lift-wages.htm

CTU backs calls for a living wage http://union.org.nz/news/2012/ctu-backs-calls-living-wage


The Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/child_poverty

Addressing Child Poverty a Priority http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00057/addressing-child-poverty-a-priority.htm

Key rejects child allowance call http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7566913/Key-rejects-child-allowance-call

TOILING ON Cleaners Venu Lam Sam, 56, left, and Tatupu Lam Sam, 49, are struggling to make ends meet.

Why is it dopey to do something about child poverty? http://waitakerenews.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/is-it-dopey-to-do-something-about-child.html

Tapu Misa: Hearts harden to child poverty http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10831228

John Armstrong: Child poverty report must not be ignored http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10830925

Experts: Restart universal child payment http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10830014

Free food call for low-decile schools http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10829909

Significant reduction in child poverty possible – expert group http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/significant-reduction-child-poverty-possible-expert-group/5/132984

Time for action: the child poverty figures are a disgrace http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00369/time-for-action-the-child-poverty-figures-are-a-disgrace.htm

Report recommends raising wage, parental leave http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828736

Lessons from The Netherlands – Every Child Counts http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00326/lessons-from-the-netherlands-every-child-counts.htm

1000 Days to get it right for every child – The Netherlands Study http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1208/NetherlandsStudy.pdf

Bill English wrong about child payment discrimination by Holly Walker http://blog.greens.org.nz/?p=25087

CPAG: Poverty debate clouded by government misinformation http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00538/poverty-debate-clouded-by-government-misinformation.htm

Editorial: Feed the children http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/editorial/editorial-feed-the-children/


Half of NZ’s super-rich dodge tax DANYA LEVY http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/7550031/Half-of-NZs-super-rich-dodge-tax

Banks back to pre-crisis profits while people still struggle http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1208/S00520/banks-back-to-pre-crisis-profits-while-people-still-struggle.htm

CTU: Greater effort needed to get young into skills training http://union.org.nz/news/2012/greater-effort-needed-get-young-skills-training

Shocking Unemployment Figures revealed! http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/shocking-unemployment-figures-revealed.html


NZ inequality at highest level http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828941

Gap between rich and poor highest ever, report shows http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/gap-between-rich-and-poor-highest-ever-report-shows-5043296

Poor get poorer, inequality reigns – survey http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7536914/Poor-get-poorer-inequality-reigns-survey

Pay and income gaps continue to widen – where’s the opposition? http://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/3215/

Gordon Campbell on inequality, and God’s dislike for Republicans http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2012/08/24/gordon-campbell-on-inequality-and-gods-dislike-for-republicans/

Corin Dann: Warnings for Government in inequality report http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/corin-dann-warnings-government-in-inequality-report-5044016

VIDEO: Wage inequality increasing (4:28) http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/corin-dann-warnings-government-in-inequality-report-5044016/video

Excerpts from the MSD Household Incomes Report http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/excerpts-from-the-msd-household-incomes-report/

Household Incomes in New Zealand: Trends in Indicators of Inequality and Hardship 1982 to 2011 http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/monitoring/household-incomes/index.html

Govt has caused ‘incredible shift of wealth’ – CTU http://www.3news.co.nz/Govt-has-caused-incredible-shift-of-wealth—CTU/tabid/423/articleID/266603/Default.aspx#ixzz24cXZRLJn

Everyday budgeting means income is greater than expenses http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1209/S00055/everyday-budgeting-means-income-is-greater-than-expenses.htm

Union steps up fight against Burger King (Radio Live)

20 Aug

“It’s a PR disaster says law specialist”

Mike Treen speaks to teach-in outside BK store in Queen St, Auckland

The Unite Union has stepping up its fight against fast food chain Burger King.

About 50 protesters picketed outside a store in Auckland yesterday claiming the company is putting pressure on workers to leave the union.

Employment law specialist Geoff O’Sullivan says it’s a PR disaster.

“It’s one thing to be seen as either pro or anti-union but it would be quite another thing to be seen as having taken active steps to discourage membership or in fact to encourage people to leave the union,” says Mr O’Sullivan.

The Unite Union has filed legal proceedings with the Employment Relations Authority, accusing Burger King of denying workers their rights by keeping them on minimum wages and exploiting migrant workers.

National director Mike Treen says around 200 people have been compelled to quit the union in the past three months. “This was done through bullying and pressure. In some cases people were kept in a room for an hour or more and in other cases they were told they would not ever get promoted at Burger King,” says Mr Treen.

Burger King says it’s a responsible employer which cares about employees, but would prefer a constructive discussion with Unite Union rather than airing concerns through the media.

RadioLIVE/3 News

Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Union-steps-up-fight-against-Burger-King/tabid/423/articleID/265981/Default.aspx#ixzz2428OnHO8

BK workers claim pressured to leave union (TV1 – 19/8/12)

19 Aug


Burger King accused of exploiting Indian and other migrant workers

16 Aug

Unite Union has received many complaints from BK workers who were originally from India about the discrimination and exploitation they face.

Many staff are given work permits as students or for a year or two to allow them to seek permanent work. But to get an offer of permanent residence they need to be offered a managers job. This results in many of the migrant workers agreeing to do anything and everything demanded by the BK bosses in the hopes that they get the prized management training offer.

These workers are also too scared to join the union as they know BK management take a dim view of union membership and tell potential managers they have to leave if they want promotion.

Indian workers would often get stuck with the unpopular graveyard shifts. We had one worker who worked for several years on graveyards and even did double management shifts of 16 hours at two different stores. When he complained about his training not being completed his training as a manager was stopped and he wasn’t able to renew his visa.

The Indian workers proved so successful for BK that a majority of the company’s employees are now of Indian origin. But that has created resentments inside some stores and inside some communities where BK operates but doesn’t seem to employ people from the communities they operate in. Some managers even use their influence to hire staff from their own region in India so they can better keep them dependent and under control. This is not the fault of the workers who have been hired but the resultant abuse of their rights is being ignored by the company.

Now the union has been told that managers have been ordered not to promote any more Indian managers – even those with PR (permanent residence). Whatever reason has prompted this decision by BK it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of national origin against workers who have PR. If you suspect this has happened please contact the union.

This year’s collective agreement signed by Unite with the company includes some further improvements but if we are going to close the gap with companies like Restaurant Brands we need to have a bigger union membership at BK.

Unite Union has had to step in on several occasions to try to stop workers being forced to leave New Zealand as a consequence of actions by BK. One particularly bad example involved a manager from the Philippines.

BK went to the Philippines and worked with immigration consultants to hire Fast Food managers to work in New Zealand. The workers had to pay the consultants (who were in the room with the BK reps when the workers were interviewed in the Philippines) thousands of dollars. The worker Unite ended up helping had also borrowed money from his parents and from a bank to come to New Zealand and work, placing the entire family under financial stress. Burger King also advanced funds to pay these costs as well which were being deducted from his salary over the term of his contract in New Zealand.

The terms of his visa were only to work in a specific region with a two year contract but after his training was completed he was only offered work in the region he was trained in – violating his work visa. When Immigration became aware of this they cancelled his visa and Burger King terminated his employment. The company then deducted the remaining salary advance from his final pay, leaving him almost penniless, with no job, no rights to income support and facing deportation back to the Philippines where he would still have the burden of a massive unpaid debt created by BK lies.

The worker was extremely stressed and too ashamed to even tell his family back in the Philippines what was happening. He was relying on charity and some friends for food and shelter. Having recruited him and introduced him to an immigration consultant which resulted in him being loaded with debt, including with Burger King itself, the company then forced him to violate his visa terms.

When immigration authorities found out BK just dropped him, grabbed back the money they had lent him and left him alone, destitute and facing deportation.
Despite not being a union member at the time the worker was assisted by Unite and a settlement was reached. The worker’s visa was eventually reinstated and he was able to return to work in accordance with the original visa conditions.

The whole situation reeked of ‘indentured labour’ where workers are given jobs but loaded up with so much debt and other obligations that they are totally dependent on the employer. The result is a fearful and subservient workforce that can just be discarded when they become inconvenient or troublesome to the company. That is, of course, the main motivation for actively importing workers.

The idea that we can’t train New Zealanders to be assistant managers in burger stores and have to import them from overseas is also preposterous.

See also: Fast food giant faces union action

Employee of six years Lalit Sood claimed he and other staff faced pressure from management to leave the union and he was forced to “work like a slave”.

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