I’ve just got back from a small but very vocal picket outside Spotless’ corporate HQ on The Terrace in solidarity with the 800 cooks, cleaners and orderlies from hospitals around New Zealand who began 24 hours of strike action today.
They’re striking because despite agreeing to a pay deal with Spotless last year the company has decided to renege on actually paying them. Apparently nine months wasn’t long enough for Spotless to get its funding in order.
This is just shit. These are some of the lowest paid workers in the country, and until they discovered their own power last year were some of the most vulnerable too. They went through hell to get that pay rise. Spotless was so determined to keep extra government funding for wages to itself that it locked these workers out for nine days without pay to try and starve them into submission. The lockout was only lifted after the Employment Court ruled it to be unlawful.
And now, after all that, Spotless won’t even pay its workers what they’re owed. This has gone on for far too long – if Spotless won’t deliver on its commitment to its workers and to the public then it’s time our DHBs gave them the sack.