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Media Releases

National’s economic strategy underpinned by attacks on workers rights

Date of Release: 
Monday, September 15, 2014

The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union.

National’s proposed employment law reforms includes removing the duty to conclude collective agreements, repealing the 30-day rule, letting employers opt out of multi-employer collective agreements and cutting workers’ breaks.

Forestry safety must be taken seriously

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

News that Police have arrested and charged a man with manslaughter over the death of 20-year old Lincoln Kidd shows that forestry safety must be taken seriously, according to FIRST Union.

Greens Party’s workers policy to restore link between effort and reward

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union.

Employment Charter will strengthen migrants' rights

Date of Release: 
Monday, September 1, 2014

Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups.

The charter has the support of the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG, a division of FIRST Union), the Engineers, Printers and Manufacturers Union (EPMU), and the Council of Trade Unions (CTU), as well as industry representatives.

2014 Rich List paints picture of inequality denial

Date of Release: 
Friday, August 1, 2014

The National Business Review’s 2014 Rich List is a stark reminder of the growing inequality in New Zealand, according to FIRST Union.

This year is the first time the combined wealth of New Zealand’s Rich-Listers has passed $50 billion, more than doubling the combined wealth of Rich-Listers just a decade ago.

“What we’re seeing here is a society in a state of inequality denial, propagated by a government of inequality deniers”, said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

Labour Party’s employment reforms show commitment to tackling inequality

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union.

The agenda features a $2 an hour boost to the minimum wage in the first year (with a view to raising it to two-thirds of average wage by the end of their second term), a Commission of Inquiry into wages and collective bargaining and a review of NZ’s health and safety law, including further funding for Worksafe.

UNEMIG: Disgraced hotel operator still hasn’t learned

Date of Release: 
Friday, July 25, 2014

A publicly disgraced Auckland hotel is still not paying their workers the minimum wage, according to the Union Network of Migrants (UNEMIG).

Last week the Employment Relations Authority ordered Harbour Oaks hotel to pay workers Nancy and Abraham Agustin nearly $80,000, having not paid their minimum entitlements since the beginning of their employment in 2011, illegally withholding wages, and requiring them to work public holidays without paying penal rates or giving lieu days.

Christchurch CHEP workers walk off the job again

Date of Release: 
Monday, July 21, 2014

Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according to FIRST Union.

The workers went on a 24-hour strike earlier this month, and the union now understands that Brambles is threatening to lock the workers out until they accept the employer’s final offer. Members are again standing on a picket line until Brambles step up and resume bargaining.

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