Justice for the Highland Park cinema workers
Event Cinemas have laid off Highland park workers, many with long service of 8, 12 and 16 years length, and paid them only 2 weeks pay. Workers in Aotearoa have no basic rights to redundancy protected by law, as most other workers do in developed countries. How they have been treated could happen to us all, and in these times of recession and cutbacks, it is unjust that a company that can spend millions on Digital and 3D Projection technology can not do the right thing by workers who have given them a huge part of their working lives.
"Join the brave women and men of Highland Park on Thursday 7th February at 5pm, for a mass picket at Event Cinemas in Queen Street. Invite your workmates and friends, bring your union, community and party banners. It is about time that workers in New Zealand had basic rights, and that the Multinational Corporations who profit and siphon the wealth out of here paid the rent." said Joe Carolan, Unite Union organiser.
Helen Kelly from the CTU said-
""The CTU stands beside these brave women and men from Event Cinemas, who have been treated appaulingly by this muiltinational corporation. Its time that redundacy pay was taken out of the hands of companies and enshrined in law- NZ is one of the few western countries without statutory redundancy provision."
An injury to one is an injury to all.
Pakuranga's Local Catholic Deacon, Chris Sullivan, will also be attending today's rally, because he believes this is an issue of corporate morality.
"The Event Cinema in Highland Park was our local Cinema. Our family often went there. We were shocked when it closed down. I was more shocked that the redundant workers were only paid a paltry 2 weeks redundancy pay, despite some having many years of service. Traditionally, New Zealand workers were paid redundancy of 4 weeks pay for the first year and 2 weeks pay for each subsequent year employed. In Australia, the law provides for redundancy pay at a rate only slightly lower than this. World Bank research (1) shows that NZ comes right at the bottom of the list of legal redundancy entitlements. Even Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and China have more generous redundancy laws than we do. There is an urgent need for government to legislate for decent redundancy pay. Workers have a right to compensation to assist with the costs of finding a new job and the costs of providing for themselves and their families while they are out of work. Employers accept this principle. It is the norm for business executives to be paid redundancy pay. Top executives are frequently paid very generous severance pay - sometimes millions of dollars. Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds got a ‘termination payment’ of $1.75 million on leaving Telecom last year. The Catholic Church teaches that workers have the right to form Trade Unions and to take reasonable industrial action in pursuit of justice in the workplace; and that "Unemployment almost always wounds its victim's dignity and threatens the equilibrium of his life. Besides the harm done to him personally, it entails many risks for his family" (2).
Footnotes: (1) Catechism of the Catholic Church 2435-6. www.scborromeo.org/ccc/p3s2c2a7.htm#2435 (2) http://siteresources.worldbank.org/SOCIALPROTECTION/Resources/SP-Discussion-papers/Labor-Market-DP/1111.pdf God Bless Chris Sullivan
Facebook event page- A rally to support these brave workers, laid off with only 2 weeks redundancy pay,this thursday at 5pm in Queen Street https://www.facebook.com/events/578268278850295/
Supported by CTU and Unions Auckland.
Unite union is arguing for a minimum four weeks redundancy, and 2 weeks for every additional year worked as recognition for length of service.