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Heartland Bank Workers Take Strike Action In Auckland Over Low Pay Rates

Workers at Heartland Bank in Auckland are taking strike action today and walking off the job after unsuccessful negotiations with the employer have failed to result in meaningful increases to wages that union officials say are well below market rates, FIRST Union said today.

"Bargaining with Heartland has been fraught and members are taking strike action after engaging in good faith since their agreement expired in June of this year," said Tali Williams, FIRST Union Secretary for Retail and Finance.

"It’s not an action taken lightly but Heartland workers have had enough of being taken for granted and paid an estimated 20-30% below the industry average across bank brands."

"Heartland have recently made the news for offering the lowest mortgage rate in New Zealand, but it’s clear that in-house, workers are paying for it."

Heartland staff say their jobs have intensified significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic and many are feeling undervalued and underappreciated for the work they do, Ms Williams said.

Negotiations with the company have been ongoing since May and today’s strike action is a full withdrawal of labour.

"Heartland have been around for a long time but they must now look to the competition and realise workers can expect fair wages for the kind of work they do," said Ms Williams.

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