This week members of Finsec, the finance union, with members from other unions, will remember their fallen.
They will meet in Christchurch and Auckland on Saturday, and at Parliament in Wellington on Friday.
Last year a finance worker committed suicide because of the inhuman stress placed on him at work. At least 15 percent of our membership resign each year and will never work in the industry again, either because of stress related conditions or because they have just had enough.
Making workers more vulnerable and increasing the pressure of work was a prime aim of the Employment Contracts Act. Banks and insurance companies made the most of the opportunities it provided. They changed our members jobs from secure jobs-for-life, to high-pressured jobs that few people would want to stay in for longer than a few years. Then they blamed the workers for their failure to cope with stress.
"Things have got so bad – and not just in the finance industry – that we need laws to outlaw this sort of pressure," said Don Farr, general secretary of Finsec. "We will be at Workers' Memorial Day to support other workers and to ask for their support with the problems that face us."
Finsec members have formed health and safety committees in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland to push for the inclusion of stress as a notifiable hazard in the Health and Safety in Employment Bill. They will be out in force on Workers Memorial commemorations around the country, wearing their Stress Buster tee shirts and demanding A Living and a Life.