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Media Releases

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.

Bidvest deliveries to stop as workers take action

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Drivers and store workers at the South African-owned food distribution company Bidvest are taking strike action as the company refuses to negotiate a wage increase for workers in the Hawkes Bay.

Approximately 15 workers responsible for around 80% of the company’s deliveries in the Hawkes Bay region will take a series of strike actions over the coming weeks.

“These drivers and storeman work their guts out for this company and they deserve a pay rise to reflect that,” said FIRST Union organiser Mike McNab.

Ambulance service cuts will hurt – union

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A proposal by St John Ambulance to reduce staff numbers will be an immense loss for both the community who use the service and the workers affected says FIRST Union, the union for Ambulance Professionals.

Last week St John Ambulance announced a proposal to reduce their workforce by 33 full time roles.

“If anything we need more ambulance professionals on the road” said Neil Chapman, FIRST Union ambulance organiser.

Cavalier Bremworth restructuring another blow for working people

Date of Release: 
Monday, April 18, 2016

Only a week after Fisher and Paykel Appliances announced plans to close its Auckland appliances factory, carpet-maker Cavalier Bremworth is announcing a proposal to shift production to Napier in a move that could see up to 68 jobs go in Whanganui and a further 36 jobs go in Christchurch.

The Christchurch Radford Yarns Plant could close completely as a result of the restructure, says FIRST Union Southern Secretary Paul Watson. 

Union welcomes Bunnings back down on in-store defibrillators

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The union representing Bunnings workers is welcoming the company’s decision to install defibrillators in five stores, including in stores where staff-owned defibrillators were removed.

“Workers in Dunedin, Nelson and Gisborne were heartbroken when the company removed their staff-owned defibrillators,” said FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“Having a defibrillator on hand can mean the difference between life and death. Bunnings decision to remove defibrillators they didn’t own and didn’t pay to maintain never made any sense.”

Auckland bus company using ratepayers’ money to breach employment law – union

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The long running dispute between Auckland bus drivers and their employer is heading to the courts as FIRST Union, the union representing drivers at Howick and Eastern Buses, files two cases in the Employment Relations Authority against the East Auckland bus company for “serious and sustained” breaches of the Employment Relations Act.

The union is seeking costs and $2 million in penalties.

Disruption at Richmond Pak’n Save as workers go on pre-Easter strike

Date of Release: 
Thursday, March 24, 2016

Workers responsible for filling shelves at the Richmond PAK’nSAVE are on strike this morninig in frustration at the supermarket’s continued refusal to bargain over pay rates and lift wages for low paid workers at the store.

Workers from the Morning Fill, Bakery and Butchery teams have walked off the job right before the busy Easter trading period

Nelson-based FIRST Union organiser Rachel Boyack says the union has been trying to negotiate a collective agreement since November last year at the region’s largest supermarket but the owner refuses to bargain over pay rates.

Bunnings dispute heads to the Employment Relations Authority

Date of Release: 
Friday, March 18, 2016

The long running employment dispute between Bunnings and FIRST Union is heading to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA).

The development comes after Bunnings suspended hundreds of workers across the country for removing their signature aprons in a symbolic protest against the company’s repeated refusal to compromise on rostering.

“The ERA has accepted our application for facilitated bargaining. With the ERA supervising the process we’re confident we can break the deadlock on rostering,” says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

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