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Unions launch Air NZ campaign with legal action

Unions launch Air New Zealand campaign with legal action

Unions representing ground services workers at Air New Zealand today launched the “Stop the Cuts” campaign to stop the airline’s proposal to cut their pay and conditions or outsource their jobs to multinational company Swissport.

The unions have also filed legal action in the Employment Court over allegations of breaches of good faith and due process and are asking for an injunction to stop the contracting-out process.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union National Secretary Andrew Little says there are serious doubts about the merits of the proposal. “The consultation process outlined in the Collective Agreement is for the airline to explain and justify the proposal.

“So far Air New Zealand has failed to provide us with crucial information such as how many people would be left to do the work, what their hours would be and how much they would be paid.

“We have, however, found evidence that this project was planned in early 2005 and appears to be designed to compel the workforce into renegotiating their pay and conditions without having access to the usual industrial rights such as the right to legally protected strike action.

“In short, we think it is time for the court to examine Air New Zealand’s conduct.”

Service and Food Workers Union Northern Region Secretary Jill Ovens says the court action will be one part of the campaign to keep the jobs at Air New Zealand.

“As well as legal action we’ll be engaged in a strong publicity campaign to let people know exactly what this management is doing to Air New Zealand.

“Eighty-three percent of this company is owned by the public and we think the taxpayer is owed an explanation about what’s going on.

“If management want to run our airline down by attacking hardworking Kiwis and their families then they’d better be ready
to justify themselves.”

The EPMU covers just over 1550 Ground Service workers and the SFWU covers around 260.

ENDS

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