December 18, 2007
AA workers staunch on maintaining service leave
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members and officials will meet with the Automobile Association for negotiations tomorrow.
The meeting comes after two days of national strike action by members seeking to retain their service leave and get national pay parity.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the association’s public refusal to maintain long-standing workers’ service leave is unacceptable.
“The government gave all New Zealand workers an extra week’s annual leave this year and the AA has decided to try to claw it back by cutting service leave for a significant part of their workforce. Our members will not accept being short-changed like that.
“We understand that in the short-term the AA’s members are being inconvenienced by this industrial action, especially given the current weather in some parts of the country, but in the long term they will see their service suffer even more if the AA doesn’t take steps to retain highly qualified and professional staff and those steps include maintaining their service leave.
“We also believe there is no need for an ‘independent remuneration expert’ to consider pay parity because the issue is simple: people who do the same job should get the same pay no matter where they live.
“The AA has told our members they may not get paid for work they did before the strike if they do not provide an end-date for their action. This is a clearly unlawful threat and is not conducive to good faith negotiations.”
The EPMU had signaled to the AA that it was available for further negotiations today but was told the association was not available.