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Monday, June 09, 2008

Workers strike at Auckland Airport


Foodcourt employees at Auckland International Airport walked off the job this morning, protesting what their union is calling "New Zealand's worst employment contract".

All the strikers are members of Unite, a union aimed towards low-income workers in the service industry.

Unite's National Director, Mike Treen, says their contract with the airport is "positively medieval".

"These workers are vulnerable in the first place. They are mainly Maori, Pacific and recent migrants. They deserve a fair go."

According to Mr Treen, foodcourt employees have no secure hours, can be asked to work up to 10 days in a row without consultation and in the past were forced to work for up to seven hours without a break. Their employer, a joint venture between Host Marriot Services Corporation and Auckland International Airport recently began allowing breaks, but Mr Treen says the shifts were reorganised in order to minimise the number employees could take.

The strike, assisted by veteran campaigner John Minto, began at 11am this morning.

Mr Treen says the staff are asking for a pay increase, secure hours and improved rest breaks.
Watch extended video of the protest, including interviews.

Watch full TV3 Video HERE.

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