Hundreds of SEA-Unite union members rocked Federal Street outside SkyCity Casino in Auckland as they went on strike tonight to bring “back the weekend”.
Initial indications are that casino operations were severely disrupted with very long lines and delays for cashier services and many other services, such as security and cleaning already stretched to breaking after just a few hours.
“It was one of the best pickets the union has ever had. Very loud, very active and would have left SkyCity and their customers in absolutely no doubt about the determination of union members” said Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir.
At 5pm the union also issued SkyCity with a further strike notice from 8am Sunday to 8am Monday morning, effectively extending the strike for another 24 hours this weekend.
“Our initial strike ballot authorised a full weekend strike but our first notice was for just 15 hours. We had so many members disappointed that they would miss out because they were not rostered Saturday night. We also had many who would miss out on Fathers day at home”
“That, of course, is exactly the problem we are trying to solve. If there was an incentive to work Sundays then there would plenty of other volunteers to allow fathers working at SkyCity to spend the day with their families.”
The main union claim is for penal rates at nights and weekends to reward and encourage staff who are willing and able to work these hours and, crucially, allow others some choice about their work hours.
The union has offered concessions on the claim but SkyCity has so far completely rejected any movement on the issue. Mediation is scheduled for Friday nest week.