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Secure our Hours

ITF Congress

Living Wage campaign


Secure Our Hours

You might have noticed that casual, low and zero hours contracts are on the rise at Countdown. More and more members from Countdown are coming forward with their concerns. Members are alarmed at:

Get Out And Vote

Nearly a third of Kiwis didn’t vote in the last election. That’s not good for our democracy. But if we work together, we can help turn that around in 2014.

Pay Equity Challenge

FIRST Union is a member of the Pay Equity Challenge coalition - a broad coalition of community, employer, union, and academic groups who are committed to putting pay equity issues back on the Government’s, and New Zealand’s, agenda.

Putting Workers First

MembersThe National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces on 1 October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST Union. 

We are 27,000 workers in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport, who have come together to get a better deal at work.

If you’re not a member of the union, join today to win higher pay, better conditions and have more say at work.

Read the articles below to read about what's happening in FIRST Union, or click here to view all the latest news.




Government must not abandon health and safety reform

Date of Release: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015

While resistance in the National Party caucus delays the passage of the Health and Safety Reform Bill, FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid says there should be no health and safety law exceptions for small businesses and farmers.

“Some MPs within the National Party appear to be pushing to retain the status quo, the same status quo that led to workplace disasters like the Pike River Mine explosion”.

Companies must ensure they are not chartering slave ships – migrant workers’ advocate

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Companies who outsource their New Zealand quota catch to foreign fishing vessels must take more steps to ensure they are not enabling slave fishers says Union Network of Migrant (UNEMIG) workers’ advocate Dennis Maga. 

Recent research from Auckland University has revealed that slave fishing is still happening in New Zealand waters, years after the issue was first exposed.”

Budget 2015: Working people miss out - union

Date of Release: 
Thursday, May 21, 2015

Returning some of the income that was stolen from beneficiaries in National’s welfare cuts in 1991 is not an adequate way to address poverty or reduce inequality says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid. 

“The government’s decision to lift benefit levels for families receiving state support will mean nothing without stronger action on the housing crisis. Many families will see their extra support eaten up by rising rents”. 

Lending restrictions leave workers with high housing costs

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

FIRST Union is welcoming the Reserve Bank’s new lending restrictions for property investors in Auckland, but believes the Government should be doing more to address the multiple issues that feed into the problem of Auckland’s housing affordability.

“Slowing house price inflation won’t solve the problem for Auckland workers, many of whom are already struggling with the high cost of housing” says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

Employer accreditation may not go far enough

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A group representing migrant workers is welcoming the government’s changes to Essential Skills visas, but concerns remain over the content of an accreditation scheme which aims to protect migrant workers against unscrupulous employers.

More work needed to protect migrant workers

Date of Release: 
Friday, May 8, 2015

The Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG) welcomes the Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2), but loopholes remain open that facilitate migrant worker exploitation, according to UNEMIG Migrant Workers’ Advocate Dennis Maga.

“There are positive changes in the amendment law, including increased penalties for exploitation, the power to deport exploitative employers holding residence visas, greater funding to tackle exploitation and removing the different penalties for exploitation of documented and undocumented migrants,” said Maga.


In the News

A drug test for kava requested by some NZ companies

Date of Release: 

Jerome Mika, a senior organiser here at FIRST Union, spoke to Radio New Zealand opposing plans to test for kava as a drug. Workers in the South Island were told the substance would be tested for, but the companies involved vigorously denied what the workers said they told. It was later revealed that companies had requested kava test and technology could be developed to test for it. 

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