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Trans-tasman Casino Unions Join Forces

MEDIA RELEASE

1 May 2005

Trans-tasman Casino Unions Join Forces

The two big national casino workers unions on both sides of the Tasman have come together to deliver organisational CLOUT to the thousands of workers they represent together.

”Casino workers Linked to Organise and Unionise Trans-Tasman” (CLOUT) brings together casino union members of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) in Australia and the Service & Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota (SFWU) in New Zealand.

CLOUT is the beginning of an organisation that aims to bring together Casino Unions across the globe – especially from the Asia-Pacific region, in the USA and the UK – to build the power of casino workers throughout the world.

Darien Fenton, the SFWU National Secretary in New Zealand said that it was appropriate that CLOUT was being announced on May Day, the international day celebrating workers’ rights.

“It’s particularly pleasing on a day when Skycity Auckland have allowed their workers to wear union badges on May Day for the first time ever.”

Jeff Lawrence LHMU National Secretary in Australia said that increasingly our members are working for exactly the same casino employers as this industry grows to be controlled by a few global players. “It is logical we should now build common structures so that we can speak with one voice,” he said.

“The SFWU and LHMU look forward to using their CLOUT to raise the collective strength, power and unity of their members and gain respect and fairness for all Casino workers,” says Ms Fenton.

The CLOUT federation of casino workers will:
1. Make organising Casinos in both countries a priority and dedicate specific resources to organise workers and block anti-union Casinos.
2. Share plans, information, research and data on companies, expansion plans and union-busting techniques.
3. Share training of organisers and lead delegates.
4. Pool resources to mount sustained organising campaigns in Casinos in both countries.
5. Proactively target anti-union Casino companies and work with local communities to stop them gaining a foothold in their local area.
6. Work together to reduce the wage gap between New Zealand Casino workers and Australian Casino workers.
7. Make Skycity a lead target in both countries to ensure that the right of workers to organise and collectively bargain is upheld.
8. Stand up for each other in any disputes on either side of the Tasman.
9. Work to defeat costly inter-union competition in the interests of the collective unity of Casino workers.

CLOUT brings together the strength of the LHMU’s 130,000 members and SFWU’s 25,000 and is the first and only Trans-Tasman federation of Casino workers.

ENDS

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