June 30, 2005
Airport company payout angers workers
Auckland International Airport Company has an inflamed and already tense industrial situation by today announcing that it will pay an extra $200 million back to shareholders.
More than 70 AIAC employees, including the people who marshall aircraft, will strike tomorrow in support of their claim for a 5% pay rise.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that workers were angry to see the directors and shareholders receiving such large sums of money when workers were being refused a fair share.
“We’ve said that this company is awash with cash, and today they have proved it again by announcing that they would pay an extra $200 million in spare cash to shareholders,” he said.
“Directors have already been given a 66% rise in fees, and shareholders’ dividends are up 50%. We don’t begrudge them a good income, but workers are entitled to a decent pay rise too.
Mr Little said that the company had raised its pay offer from 3.5% to 4% plus a cash payment during informal mediation this week, but that wasn’t good enough.
“These workers will not settle for less than 5%,” he said.
“It’s what most other workers around the country are getting, and this company can certainly afford to pay that much.”
The 24 hour strike will start at midnight tonight, and an overtime ban began yesterday. Mr Little said that the workers were sorry if their action interrupted people’s travelling plans but there seemed to be no other way to make the company take the workers seriously.