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Bank staff start rolling strikes - Where next?

9 May 2005
For immediate release
Bank staff start rolling strikes - Where will be next?

ANZ and National bank staff have started to walk off the job today following the bank walking out of collective agreement negotiations last Friday.

- The first salvo of nationwide rolling strikes began this morning when the National Bank branch in Stratford, Taranaki closed until 10:30am while staff collected signatures and gained the support of customers and the public.

- At 11am in Auckland staff walked out of the ANZ and National branches in St Lukes and did not return until 2pm. They held a picnic on the traffic island in between the two branches and played sports.

- At 12pm in Wellington ANZ and National workers at Victoria Street, Kilbirnie and South Wellington walked out of their branches, played netball and picketed in Victoria St.

- At 2:30 In the Waikato staff at branches in Te Rapa, Ngaruawahia, and Huntly all walked off the job for the remainder of the day.

- At 3pm staff in Johnsonville walked out of their branches.

Tomorrow another day of surprise rolling strikes is planned but the bank does not know where, how long for or when.

ANZ National Bank collective agreement discussions broke down last week when the bank walked out on negotiations. The key issue which remains unresolved is the bank’s refusal to recognise the value of weekends and late evenings. Currently the bank offers workers in Australia compensation if they work evenings or weekends, but it is denying this compensation to many of its New Zealand workers.

Those workers authorised their union, Finsec, to call rolling strikes at very short or no notice if, at this latest round of negotiations, the bank did not respond to the workers’ key issue of compensation for working weekends and evenings. Those strikes have now been initiated and will continue indefinitely.

ENDS

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