Air New Zealand cabin crew are striking for better pay and job conditions on behalf of collogues who are currently earning minimum wage after returning from a period of redundancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to trade union E tū.
In an emailed statement to union members, seen by Stuff.nz on April 14, 2022, E tū said 44 cabin crew members in Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787 and 777 teams have been striking for more than 37 days since March 7, 2022. The strike was rolled out “for the sake of their fellow crew” who are being paid a minimum wage, the union said.
E tū also claimed that in an attempt to manage the dissatisfaction of striking employees, the airline had suspended some staff from their duties for six days leaving them without pay “for taking collective action”.
“The 44 are not striking for themselves. They are striking for the sake of their fellow crew,” the union said.
“Times have been tough for all of us at the airline and still too many of us are on minimum wage and below the living wage,” the email continued.
Air New Zealand chief people officer Nikki Dines said the strike interferes with training processes, which are being organized by the airline so that employees can return from redundancy. Dines said that the strike “is a ban on training other employees and on recording results and signing off the training of other employees”.
“This strike action is affecting our ability to train our returning crew and operate our international network, just at the time borders are opening, and we are rebuilding our team,” Dines told media, explaining that more than 100 cabin crew training and sign-off events have been affected so far.
According to the official website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment of New Zealand, minimum wage rate is currently $21.20 per hour.