After SkyCity offered no movement at all yesterday in mediation over the key claim for weekend and night rates, union members at SkyCity’s Auckland casino are currently voting to authorise further strike action this weekend.
Skycity site Convenor Joe Carolan said: “Members are keener than ever to take action. We have had 50 plus new members join since last weekend because the issue is so important to them and they want to get behind the campaign.”
“The big weekend midnight draw is going to be a big problem for them. That’s the time they want most customers on the main gaming floor and when they need the dealers, cashiers, technicians, bar and other staff. If last weekend is anything to go by there will be very long waits for all those”.
Unite National Secretary and Lead Negotiator Gerard Hehir said the union team was disappointed with SkyCity’s approach at mediation:
“They simply had no offer at all for increasing rates at weekends and nights. We signalled clearly that this was the issue we needed to negotiate on and have repeatedly offered since then to discuss different options – with no movement at all from SkyCity.”
“The only offer was to discuss rosters – but we have been doing that for two years already and it simply cannot solve the problem on its own. Higher rates for weekends and nights work. They work in for many large 24/7 workplaces in New Zealand and they work for SkyCity itself in their Australian casino.
“Some employees will happily make themselves more available for higher pay, which means that others are not forced to continuously work shifts that make their personal and family lives very difficult.”
Almost 900 of the casinos employees are members of Unite Union, under the SEA-Unite banner (SEA = SkyCity Employees Association) and voted 94% to reject the last offer. A secret strike ballot is being held this afternoon to authorise strike action for tonight and tomorrow.