4 June 2004
Sky City workers walk off the job
Sky City workers went on strike for four hours at 5:30pm today in protest at an unfair wage offer from the Company and other issues that have not been settled in this year’s negotiations for the renewal of the collective agreement.
The Service & Food Workers Union has nearly 900 members at Sky City and has been negotiating with the Company for six days in an effort to get a wage offer that reflects record profits and the effort Sky City Auckland staff put into making the business a success.
Sky City has offered 40 cents an hour to workers earning under $18.00 an hour and 2.2% to workers above $18.00 an hour. The union negotiation team says this is not a fair offer, given increases in Director’s fees of 30% and the level of dividends paid to shareholders.
At union meetings yesterday, there was unanimous rejection from workers of Sky City’s offer and around 97% support for strike action.
“Sky City Auckland is the engine room of the overall Sky Group, delivering 67% of the revenue and 80% of the profit” says Darien Fenton, National Secretary of the SFWU. “Workers at the Auckland Casino make a huge contribution to that profit and deserve to have a fair consideration of their effort.”
Another issue the workers want resolved is unfair rostering, including the requirement to start and finish and different hours on two or three days a week, which impacts on the workers’ health and their family lives.
“Union members want to see everyone get a decent pay-rise this time around and particularly the lower-paid workers at Sky City, some of whom are paid as little as $10.60 an hour,” says Ms Fenton.
“The strike is a wake-up call for the Company. They need to understand that their staff are serious when they say they want fairness from Sky City.”