03 12 05
SkyCity Riverside workers strike again!
Members of Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa
walked off the job this evening after rejecting the latest company offer
At 8pm this evening over 70 workers walked off the job to strike after rejecting the latest offer from SkyCity. In this latest round of industrial action at Hamilton’s SkyCity-owned casino workers will picket outside the casino in Hamilton’s main street. Workers have hit the streets to send a message to the employer asking the public to support their call for pay parity with Auckland SkyCity employees.
SFWU Nga Ringa Tota members at Hamilton Casino have been campaigning since May to win wage parity with their fellow union members at SkyCity Auckland. Currently there are huge differences in pay rates between the Hamilton workers and those in Auckland, with some workers in Auckland getting paid over $1 an hour more than their Hamilton co-workers.
The most recent offer from SkyCity was rejected last week by members who voted instead for further strike action.
The company offer was a take-it-or-leave-it choice of two offers, which union members felt compelled to reject because the company is still refusing to respect union calls for parity and a one-year term to the agreement.
SFWU Nga Ringa Tota casino members launched a national campaign in 2004 to bargain for a national collective employment agreement (CEA) covering all casino workers in New Zealand. The settling of one-year agreement in Hamilton could leave the door open for a campaign to merge the Auckland and Hamilton collective agreements in a first step towards that goal. However, the company has so far not been willing to make an offer to its Hamilton workers that would create pay parity between Auckland and Hamilton rates.
The last SFWU Nga Ringa Tota bargained agreement at SkyCity Auckland saw over 400 members take strike action before the company agreed to a modest $1 per hour pay increase. SFWU Nga Ringa Tota members at SkyCity Auckland will bargain next in mid-2006.
Recently SFWU Nga Ringa Tota members at Dunedin casino, which is part-owned by SkyCity, negotiated a pay increase of between 8 and 12% over a 14 month agreement.