June 27, 2005
Airport co to be hit by action
Auckland International Airport company is refusing its workers a five per cent pay rise – despite giving directors a 66 per cent rise and increasing shareholders’ dividends by nearly 50 per cent.
Seventy-one workers at the company are due to impose an indefinite overtime ban on Wednesday, and will strike for 24 hours on Friday in protest at the company’s position.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the company was offering its workers a paltry 3.5 per cent pay rise, despite the fact that it was making record profits.
“This company is awash with money,” he said.
“In November it increased directors’ fees by 65 per cent, shareholders’ dividends are up from 10.5 cents a share to 15 cents a share, half-year profits are up 20 per cent, and the company is about to shovel in bucket-loads of money from departure charges – money that currently goes to the government but is about to stay in the hands of the airport company.
“In fact, the Auckland International Airport Company has so much money that it has said that it will make a special capital return of between $100m and $300m extra to shareholders.”
Mr Little said that the workers’ claim for a five per cent rise was modest and in line with those being won by other workers.
“There is only one explanation for the company’s refusal to accede to the workers’ claim, and that is unalloyed corporate greed.”