Maritime workers back locked out flight attendants

Maritime Union supports flight attendant picket in Wellington
Maritime Union supports flight attendant picket in Wellington

The Maritime Union is backing locked out flight attendants employed by Air New Zealand subsidiary Zeal 320.

Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Trevor Hanson says waterfront workers and seafarers supported protests by locked out workers in Auckland and Wellington today.

“The Maritime Union will give full and active support to our fellow transport workers and their union the EPMU in this dispute.”

He says the tactics of Air New Zealand management are “textbook anti-worker, anti-union stuff.”

“They have been using lock outs, threats, strike breakers, holding companies – all to reduce the wages and conditions of their workers.”

Mr Hanson says that Air New Zealand management will find that their actions will only damage the company.

“Workers are no longer prepared to accept this type of activity with fat cat executives ripping off the workers who generate the profit.”

He says there is a new and combative mood amongst workers who were standing up for their rights.

Mr Hanson says as a majority public-owned company, Air New Zealand had an obligation to act in the public interest, rather than as “pirate capitalists.”

240 flight attendants employed by Air New Zealand subsidiary Zeal 320 Ltd have been locked out for four days.

The workers do the same work as flight attendants employed by Air New Zealand, but are employed on inferior wages and conditions.

5 thoughts on “Maritime workers back locked out flight attendants

  • May 7, 2009 at 4:30 am

    Thank you for supporting equal employment opportunity at Air New Zealand.

  • May 7, 2009 at 4:46 am

    Thank you so much for your support it is much appreciated!

  • June 30, 2009 at 12:41 am

    Good on Air New Zealand I say, if I was an employer I’d do the same. If someone isn’t happy with their pay and/or working conditions they can leave. Simple as that. I’m sure someone else will be happy to take the job. If it is your right to strike and protest, then it is their right to lock you out. If you’re not going to work, for any reason other than ill health and other legitimate reasons (and no, being unhappy with pay and conditions isn’t legitimate), you should be sacked. Ever considered that perhaps these ‘fat cats’ actually worked hard to get where they are? That they deserve what they have? All I see in this article and others like it is bitterness, jealousy, and resentment of successful people. By the way I’m not one of these ‘fat cats’, I’m a 25 year old guy on just above minimum wage. I just have morals.

    • June 30, 2009 at 12:55 am

      Well, Mark, you aren’t an employer. As you say, you are a 25 year old on just above the minimum wage. I can assure you that you might be worried about the CEO’s – but they aren’t worried about you. As you know, living on the minimum wage is almost impossible in New Zealand. We aren’t actually that concerned with the fat cats – although we don’t believe they are worth millions of dollars a year, hundreds of time what the average worker is paid.
      However, we are concerned that workers, whose work creates the wealth for managers and shareholders, are being attacked and divided.
      Do you not think that cabin crew work hard? That the only people who “work hard” are managers? That seems to be a strange viewpoint. It is also strange that you equate “success” with having lots of money and being interested in yourself. That’s a common viewpoint in a capitalist society, and explains why the world we live in is going down the plughole.
      Basically we live in a class society. Unfortunately there are some workers like you who identify with the bosses. That’s a pretty pathetic position to be in.
      If all workers thought like you – luckily they don’t – we’d probably still have children working in factories. Workers organizing have improved wages, conditions and society. There’s nothing moral in dividing workers to benefit the employer: don’t credit yourself with morals.
      Wealth is produced by the working class. The working class should benefit from that wealth. Workers should be angry that they are being ripped off – but they should use that anger constructively to unite and work for a just society.
      With your frankly idiotic viewpoint that being unhappy with pay and conditions is not “legitimate” I can guarantee you will be stuck on the minimum wage for a long time while the CEOs cream their bonuses and the shareholders get paid their dividends off your work. Unless, of course, you find a way to crawl up into a well paid management role where you can dump on workers. Cheers.

  • March 21, 2010 at 7:49 am

    4 September 2009 EPUM reports….
    After nearly a year of negotiations, EPMU members at Air New Zealand subsidiary Zeal 320 have overwhelmingly voted to accept a settlement with the company. Zeal 320 crew achieve pay rise, and plan to get on with the job.

    The 15 month deal achieves a number of substantial improvements including a 3.95% pay increase, a 6.7% increase in a tour of duty allowance after 12 months, introduction of a new guaranteed allowance of either $149 or $186 a fortnight based on last year’s value of an at-risk bonus scheme, a $1000 up-front payment and the addition of a number of non-financial clauses.

    The deal goes a long way towards closing the gap with Air New Zealand short haul crew in several key areas and provides greater security of income for the union’s 200 members.


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