Media release: FIRST Union
Sunday October 7, 2012
Union joins international campaign for decent work
FIRST Union has joined an international campaign for decent work and job security.
October 7 is World Day for Decent Work, and Robert Reid, FIRST Union General Secretary, said unions in New Zealand were increasingly turning their attention to the growing number of workers in precarious or uncertain employment situations.
“This is a major issue for workers in many of the industries where we have members, but particularly in our transport and logistics sector,” Robert Reid said.
“Our goal will always be that more workers have the right to permanent employment. We have had some successes in bargaining to reduce the number of casual and temporary workers, most recently at the three regional distribution centres of Progressive Enterprises.”
Precarious work is a major focus for international union body IndustriALL that FIRST Union affiliates to, who this week released The Triangle Trap on the explosion in the use of agency work.
The report highlights figures from the global industry body for agency work, that the industry’s global annual sales revenue increased from €83 billion in 1996 to €203 billion in 2009 and the number of agency workers has more than doubled over the same period.
Robert Reid said that at over 30 local annual meetings of the union in August, members heard of FIRST Union’s plan for decent work for the next four years.
“Our four themes of decent work are jobs for all, in contrast to the current government’s inability to deal with high unemployment; a living wage for workers; secure work; and safe work,” Robert Reid said.