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Zeal320 strike underway

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, May 7th, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

ad2Zeal320 workers are on strike for four days from today. Ads in every major newspaper explain what they are fighting for – the same pay for doing the same work as other fligh attendants on Air NZ flights.

Check out ZealGirl for stories of how management has tried to break the Zeal320 workers’ resolve and updates on how the strike is going.

Rob Fyfe, not doubt with TV camera in tow, will be working as a flight attendant today – just like one of the Zeal320 workers, except he will get paid $15,000 for his day’s work, not $100.

26 comments on “Zeal320 strike underway ”

  1. Trevor Mallard 1

    Picket on opposite cable car lane for those who can drop down to support.

  2. Perhaps a perfect example of why state ownership in a competitive market isn’t a perfect solution. We’ve got Trevor implicitly supporting a strike against an enterprise that was propped up by his Government. We’ve also got the Labour party leader head of the union that is striking against the company propped up by his own party.

    I have every sympathy for the Zeal employees but the strike highlights some other issues that haven’t been raised earlier.

    • Maynard J 2.1

      Labour President, not leader. Was that an accident, or a prediction? 😉

      Burt, and Daveski, you’re both saying that being competitive preculdes being ethical. SOEs must be competitive, Labour allowed that to be a priority. Do the rules around SOEs also mean they can act unethically and if so is that an intrinsic part of the market?

      Perhaps this isn’t the time, we’ll go so far off the topic of the strike, which left and right seem to support (for reasons differing and similar) and get into a lengthy and fruitless debate on market principles. Or maybe this is the perfect time, with such a perfect example of the free market in action (because in this case the Public involvement clearly hasn’t had an effect. If it did, the problem wouldn’t exist) being manifestly unjust.

      • Daveski 2.1.1

        Indeed MJ – you are right re the job title but I suggest it’s less and error and more a prediction.

        I acknowledge the issue but the corollary that isn’t acknowledged here is that companies must act legally and balance other obligations with the need to make a profit (largely to ensure they are sustainable). Putting ethics into the mix makes it a fair different and difficult proposition as the Govt as the shareholder needs to ensure that the company is profitable.

        It is a complex issue and not surprisingly the left is keen to highlight the issue while it’s in opposition rather than actually having to do anything about it.

      • cocamc 2.1.2

        Maynard J – trust you’re not using SOE as argument for Air NZ. Air NZ is not an SOE – its a publicly listed company which just happens to have circa 75% ownership by the Government. Should just be clear on that as the Government cannot interfere except through shareholder processes

        • Maynard J 2.1.2.1

          Great Scott, you’re quite right. Nixed most of my comment as all acts relating to SOEs don’t apply. So…What does a govt do as majority stakeholder? Act like a corporate?

          daveski – can’t pick them right here & now, but i’m pretty sure there have been left attacks against Air NZ last year and before. The heavy-cycle maintenance (offshoring) issue was one and I’m sure there have been others. This has just come to a head now and is, do I dare say it? a coincidence. I doubt EPMU would have the kid gloves on if his happened mid oh-eight.

          • Daveski 2.1.2.1.1

            Let’s be frank – ANZ managers are a-holes. As shareholders, we should applaud this 🙂

            I was going to make a similar comment about SOE’s. Having said that, the issue of ethics still applies but management aren’t obligated to apply “ethics”.

            I can’t say what may or may have happened in the past either. But I would argue that Little has a conflict of interest that he needs to deal with if, particularly if he has plans to be an MP

  3. burt 3

    Picket outside parliament might be more appropriate Trevor. The people with the majority voting rights (shareholding) should be the people being targeted, not the appointed puppets who implement the shareholders profit objectives.

    How did it get to this under a Labour govt majority shareholder Trevor ?

    • Eddie 3.1

      Burt, in case you missed it, we have a National government and if you’re calling on the Government as majority shareholder to tell the board ‘sack Fyfe or you’re gone’ I doubt you’ll hear any objections from Labour.

  4. burt 4

    Eddie

    I know we have a National govt, why else would the Labour party union wing EPMU suddenly get all worked up about this.

    Simple question Eddie: Who were the govt and the majority shareholder when Zeal320 was established?

    Now the general feeling on this blog is that National is a disaster for workers rights – lets see if this disgrace established under Labour can be sorted by National eh?

    I think Labour and unions do a better job for workers rights when they are in opposition.

    • bilbo 4.1

      And even then they’re pretty crap at it.

    • Daveo 4.2

      Fuck you’re an idiot burt. Like I told you the other day they weren’t members of the EPMU until last year. This is the first collective agreement they’ve negotiated as members of the EPMU.

      You were owned the other day when you argued this burt. Saying it all over again doesn’t make you any smarter.

      • burt 4.2.1

        Daveo

        Cheers, I do know that they only recently became members of the Labour party union wing, but nobody wants to answer the question;

        How did this happen under a Labour govt majority shareholding ?

        • r0b 4.2.1.1

          Burt, do you own a dictionary? Go look up “governance”. Go look up “management”. Compare and contrast. Ponder the role of the shareholder. Take your time.

        • Maynard J 4.2.1.2

          “Cheers, I do know that they only recently became members of the Labour party union wing, but nobody wants to answer the question;

          How did this happen under a Labour govt majority shareholding ?”

          Because Freedom Air was a different company, bought out by Air NZ, and these have been the first negotiations after Freedom ceased operating and Z320 are under Air NZ. Simple.

          Maybe Air NZ should have immediately increased Freedom wages when they bought it – is this what you are arguing should have happened? The argument for it is less clear when you realise there were two separate entities, as there were until March 2008. Lower cost airline – lower paid staff. Makes sense even to a leftie like me. Now they’re one and the same, in all but name, would you like me to connect the rest of the dots that are befuddling thou, Burt?

        • burt 4.2.1.3

          rOb

          Governance and management. OK, I get it. The problem now is that next time somebody tells me that business is evil because it only exists to make money for the shareholders (evil holders of capital) I’m going to think OK. The business is evil BUT the shareholders who decide who manages the company , what it’s profit motivations are, what level of social responsibility it has etc are blameless. Hey they only tell the company how to behave, they don’t actually do it themselves.

          Excellent, so what happens when we sack the Air NZ management and appoint new management with the same objectives and direction? I’m guessing they do the same things as the existing management. But hey that’s all good if we believe shooting the messenger makes the bad news go away. Fyffe is a silly name to spell anyway so things will be much better once the new figurehead has a sensible name.

          • r0b 4.2.1.3.1

            Burt – Maynard’s answer was much better than mine, he’s the one you should be talking to. Plus I have to go to the dentist…

  5. This from the Union who helped negotiate a pay decrease for Air New Zealand Engineers. I dont like the Zeal workers chances.

    • Eddie 5.1

      Air NZ was going to offshore those jobs. The workers with their union were able to save their jobs but the tradeoff was some pay cuts.

      Unfortunately, in the real world you don’t always have great choices but you have to make sure you get the best one you can.

      • Indiana 5.1.1

        Perhaps then AIr NZ should outsource the Zeal crew? So based on your line of thought, if in the real world you don’t always have great choices, why strike? Why try to get pay parity? Just take the offer they’ve been given, at least they may be able to keep their jobs.

  6. JD 6

    Hey there’s some youtube up of the picket outside Air nz HQ in Auckland early this morning.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOxi0zX6yFo

  7. The Voice of Reason 7

    No wonder you’re LeftRight Out.

    The EPMU saved hundreds of jobs at AirNZ engineering and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it. A drop in income is better than no income, ask around your local WINZ office if you need confirmation of this rather obvious fact.

  8. substandard 8

    I hope that many will join me in my support of Air New Zealand.

    These workers signed a contract, they were happy to accept the pay and conditions at that time, they knew they were being paid less than ANZ employees yet they still signed.

    Stay strong Air New Zealand, do not bow down to these union thugs.

  9. Fundamental principles 9

    According to the Ministry of Social Development:

    In 1983 New Zealand ratified the International Labour Organisation Convention 100 on Equal Remuneration (1951) and Convention 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) (1958). ILO 100 is short, and specific to equal pay for work of equal value, requiring member countries to:

    ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value Where such action will assist in giving effect to the provisions of this convention, measures shall be taken to promote objective appraisal of jobs on the basis of the work to be performed. (Articles 2 and 3)

    Eddie did well to mention the pay discrepancy between the striking worker and the self-righteous manager scabbing on her. Pity it was not pointed out on TV.

  10. Fundamental principles 10

    According to the Ministry of Social Development:

    In 1983 New Zealand ratified the International Labour Organisation Convention 100 on Equal Remuneration (1951) and Convention 111 on Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) (1958). ILO 100 is short, and specific to equal pay for work of equal value, requiring member countries to:

    ensure the application to all workers of the principle of equal remuneration for men and women workers for work of equal value Where such action will assist in giving effect to the provisions of this convention, measures shall be taken to promote objective appraisal of jobs on the basis of the work to be performed. (Articles 2 and 3)

    Eddie did well to mention the pay contrast between the striking worker and the self-righteous manager scabbing on her. Pity it was not pointed out on TV.

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