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Oceania care workers vote to step up national strike action

MEDIA RELEASE: SERVICE AND FOOD WORKERS UNION NGA RINGA TOTA AND NEW ZEALAND NURSES ORGANISATION

15 March 2012

Oceania care workers vote to step up national strike action

Members of the Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota and the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) from Oceania rest homes around the country voted overwhelmingly yesterday to step up their campaign of industrial action. Hundreds of caregivers, nurses and service workers attended stop work meetings at rest homes from Invercargill to Auckland for two hours.

Around 300 Oceania staff and supporters marched on Oceania’s Ponsonby head office, accompanied by MPs Jacinda Adern (Labour), David Clendon (Green Party) and Tracey Martin (NZ First).

Joint union advocate Alastair Duncan (SFWU) said union members around the country voted overwhelmingly in favour of taking further strike action and preparations for three four-hour strikes on 19 March were now underway.

“This includes members at facilities that have not previously taken action, such as Eldon Lodge on the Kapiti Coast, Cargill Rest Home in Invercargill and Longwood Village in Riverton,” he said.

“However, the unions remain committed to resolving this dispute without the need for more strike action and are attempting to organise mediation in an effort to avoid further action.”

New Zealand Nurse Organisation spokesperson David Wait said members were angry that Oceania continued to refuse to pass on tax payer money intended for the care of residents, including staff wages.

“Our members are angry that Oceania thinks it's ok to pay those that care for our elderly just 11 cents an hour above the new minimum wage,” he said.

ends

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