EPMU and Labour collude to sell out Air NZ workers

Andrew Little and the Enginering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) together with the Labour government have colluded to sell out 1675 Air New Zealand workers who faced having their jobs outsourced by the company, which is 80% owned by the government. The EPMU cut a deal with Air NZ that will see many of the workers face cuts in pay and conditions in the year after the company posted a profit of $96 million.

The Workers' Charter reported that the Air NZ CEO, "who wants to trim the pay packets of 1,700 ground staff by $7, 000 each takes home nearly $1 million a year." Meanwhile Air NZ has been attempting to bribe its workers with pay outs of up to $3000 to leave the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU), which represents 260 of the Air NZ workers, has vowed to fight both the outsourcing and the cuts in pay and conditions. Labour MPs have been haranguing SFWU secretary Jill Ovens to accept the deal the EPMU took and EPMU delegates have been ripping down SFWU posters.

As Don Franks wrote, "What the situation cried out for was a strike in defiance of that rotten anti-worker law. EPMU leaders chose to put obedience to the law above loyalty to their members.

There are eleven different unions involved at Air NZ. A determined strike by all of them, endorsed and supported by the Council of Trade Unions, would have had a fair crack at repelling the airline’s ultimatum. Such a struggle would have probably won wide public support."
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Links: LabourStart New Zealand | EPMU leaders put Labour's law above worker's needs | SFWU News

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