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Safety Video Needed For Air NZ Staff

Written By: - Date published: 6:02 pm, August 27th, 2013 - 14 comments
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I have been reading through the submissions released to date on the Employment Relations Act Amendment Bill.

Air New Zealand take the prize for most oppressive demands.  They start off moaning that they have 40 Collectives.  Rob Fyfe tried that line on me once.  I asked him to call me back once he had examined the airlines behaviour in the 1990’s where it undertook a delibarate strategy to break up unions into smaller staff groups and play them off against each other – the result – a proliferation of unions and collectives.  He did not seek to continue that conversation!

Recently we had a delegation from management in our office saying they wanted a new type of relationship with us – a “modern” arrangement based on trust etc, yada yada.  It appears what they really want is to dominate their workforce and to get laws that help them do that.

Air NZ employ 11,000 staff.  They fully support the proposed changes to the law but don’t think they go far enough:

  • The Bill allows an employer to walk away from bargaining without concluding a collective  (because the prefer individual agreements) and to get a Court order declaring bargaining finished – Air NZ want the threshold for this in the Bill lowered.  They want bargaining to end after they turn up and don’t conclude.
  • The Bill gives employers a free hit period of 60 days if bargaining is deemed over by the Court.  A period when good faith bargaining does not apply, workers can’t seek to bargain or strike and the prevailing collective is cancelled (ending the good faith duty not to undermine the collective!).  During this time employers will go to workers and try to get them to sign new individuals varying their terms.  Air NZ appears to  need 120 days to destroy the bargaining unit so have sought this period be extended to this length.
  • The Bill allows employers to not offer new workers the collective for the first 30 days of employment (a provision Cabinet say will allow employers to offer reduced wages to new workers).   Air NZ wants the provision to then stop new employees from joining the union and seeking collective coverage (cherry picking apparently – a job and decent terms!).
  • The Bill allows employers to deduct a default 10% of a workers pay for “partial strike action (firefighers for example might do full shifts but refuse to fill in fire reports),  Air NZ want this increased to 25% for good measure.
  • The Act forbids the employment of outsiders as replacement labour during a stirke.  Air NZ want this removed.
  • The Bill slashes and burns Part 6A which protects cleaners and catering jobs when the work is contracted – Air NZ want it removed all together
  • It also wants:  the right to take a PG removed above a certain salary band, the test of justification for dismissal removed, the time to raise a PG reduced from 90 to 30 days and a provision that says outsourcing during the term of an agreement will never be a breach of good faith.

Good one Air NZ – love clearly not in the air when it comes to workers rights hah?

Other submissions of note for genearal desire to breach international human rights include Contact Energy, Carter Holt Harvey and Foodstuffs.   Healthcare NZ seems to be advocating that all those pesky equal pay and sleep over cases by the SFWU be dealt to as well – but they fudge that a little

Clarification: To be clear in this article, my experience of working with Rob Fyfe was very good and the conversation referred to above was actually a problem solving one during a difficult dispute. Rob always rang to discus big issues with the Airline before they were public and to engage with the CTU on important matters. The article really shows the legacy he was left with because of a hostile approach to employment before his time and the current managements approach which seems to be reverting back to those days.

14 comments on “Safety Video Needed For Air NZ Staff”

  1. newsense 1

    consumer boycott time coming up….?

    No point going the national carrier if it is welcome to Peasant.AIRNZ how may we grovel for you.

    Might as well support the Aussies or Emirates or someone else in that case.

  2. Sable 2

    Air NZ have a shitty reputation when it comes to unions and collective bargaining so this is not surprising but still disappointing. I think I’ll fly Qantas.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    Not too keen on a boycott; that effects the jobs of thousands of unionised workers. Actually, the fact that the majority are unionised is the nub of the problem. AirNZ haven’t been able to convince their workers to abandon their unions by bribery, intimidation or spin, so they want the right to bludgeon them out.

    A better approach might be to ask the 3 LP leadership candidates if they want a state owned company behaving like arseholes and what they’re going to do about it in 18 months time.

  4. millsy 4

    Why dont we just bring back slavery, ban unions and be done with it.

  5. ianmac 5

    Currently using Jetstar Asia and Jetstar NZ. (Tomorrow)Have a backpack under 10kg so no booked luggage, ignore the meals and flight much cheaper. Nice staff. Planes just like the others. Vietnam return, $300NZ less than next lowest airline. So if you are a light traveller and sick of airline food fly Jetstar.
    Gave up on Air NZ long ago. Emirates tops the list. Turkish Airlines 3rd. Air NZ didn’t reach the top 10.
    And yes an airline that uses its workers to cut costs can be boycotted and you save money.

    • TheContrarian 5.1

      Did the Singpore-NZ run recently on Jetstar – Christ it was awful.

      • tc 5.1.1

        Jetstar is qantas lite and qantas is just about dead in the water as an Oz airline.

        Asia is calling them as the decades of cutbacks and trimmings can’t be hidden anymore.

  6. tc 6

    Air nz is a budget airline in every aspect except price, luxon is there to continue the job fyfe and norriss begun so this is no surprise.

  7. Jenny Collett 7

    Shocking, irresponsible, can’t let these ideas rule the country!

  8. Tracey 8

    Air New Zealand seem to be doing ok under the current law?

    “Air NZ has unveiled a big jump in profits this morning, with a $182m net profit after tax for the full year – up 156 per cent from the year before.

    The airline is paying a final dividend of 5 cents a share, taking its total dividend for the year to 8 cents a share – a 45 per cent jump from last year’s shareholder payout. The profit lift was largely anticipated by analysts.

    Chairman John Palmer said this morning’s result placed Air New Zealand amongst the best performing airlines globally.”

    Despite laying off 180 maintenance employees due to lack of work for them it intends spending around “…$1.8 billion on new planes over the next three years.”

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