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Media Releases

Union pickets Foodstuff’s Christchurch headquarters after workers turn to charities for food

Date of Release: 
Friday, August 5, 2016

The union representing working people in Pak’n Save and New World stores is picketing Foodstuff’s South Island CEO Steve Anderson after learning that some South Island supermarket workers are turning to charities for help feeding their families.

FIRST Union national organiser Bill Bradford says Foodstuff’s store owners in the South Island run a business model that keeps wages and working conditions at a minimum.

Porirua community rallies behind supermarket workers

Date of Release: 
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pak n Save’s signature ‘Stickman’ will be joining community members and supporters who are planning to rally outside Pak n Save Porirua to protest against the company’s poor pay offer in collective agreement negotiations.

‘Porirua is a proud “Living Wage” community, but Pak n Save Porirua is offering a wage increase that amounts to less than the recent increase in the minimum wage,’ said FIRST Union National Organiser Bill Bradford.

Union applauds Green’s manufacturing announcement

Date of Release: 
Thursday, July 21, 2016

A union representing working people in the wood, textile and food sections of the manufacturing industry is applauding Green co-leader James Shaw’s announcement that the party will appoint a Minister for Manufacturing in a future government the party is a part of.   

‘New Zealand needs a manufacturing industry that offers secure work and well-paying jobs. But the sector has been taking a hit after years of neoliberal policies. In the last few months our union has been dealing with dozens of redundancies in the textile industry,’ said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

Pan Pac workers take action: mill operations to cease

Date of Release: 
Thursday, July 7, 2016

Workers at the embattled Pan Pac Mill in Napier have voted for a twenty-four hour strike after rejecting the company’s miserly offer to settle a collective agreement.

‘When the company was struggling to turn a profit, our members agreed to forgo a pay rise and many of their hard-won benefits,’ said FIRST Union Hawkes Bay Organiser Mike McNab.

‘But now that the company is back in healthy profit, they’re refusing to acknowledge how hard our members worked to bring the company back in black.’

In the 2015 financial year the company made a gross profit of $34 million.

‘Out of touch’ Government blocks Easter trading petition in Parliament

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday.

‘New Zealanders are only guaranteed three and a half days off each year. We should protect that, not reduce it,’ said FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

Long running Auckland bus dispute settled

Date of Release: 
Friday, June 3, 2016

After months of deadlock, an 11th hour agreement has been reached between the union representing drivers at Howick and Eastern Buses and the company.

Bus Drivers First organiser Rudd Hughes credits the assistance of the mediation service for the settlement. 

“We managed to avert strike action and reach agreement thanks to a mediator thinking ‘outside the box’ to bring the company back to the table.”

The break through comes after a favourable variation was made to the company’s offer.

Strikes return at Auckland bus company

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Commuters on Howick and Eastern Bus services might find their travel plans disrupted as FIRST Union members at the company take strike action after the company withdrew a last minute offer reached in mediated bargaining.

‘With the help of a mediator the two parties reached a tentative agreement that the drivers were ready to vote on. But just before the vote took place the company wrote to the union with a completely different and far less favourable offer,’ said Bus Drivers’ First spokesperson Rudd Hughes.

Ambulance services need urgent funding boost – union

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The union representing New Zealand’s ambulance professional’s is warning the government that without an immediate funding boost patients’ lives will be put at risk.

“Single-crewing in provincial areas is causing tremendous stress for ambulance professionals,” said Ambulance Professionals First spokesperson Neil Chapman.

Ambulances in urban areas are double-crewed, but ambulances in provincial areas are often single-crewed, despite the greater distance to hospitals and back up.

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