Yesterday cleaners represented by the Service and Food Workers Union met at Parliament to hand over their submissions on the Employment Relations Amendment Act. In particular, they opposed changes to part 6A, which would make it easier for vulnerable workers like cleaners and catering staff to be fired when a new contractor takes over their jobs.
Mareta Sinoti is a cleaner at Parliament. As the Dominion Post reports, she told the meeting, “We are cleaners. We work hard at a time when most people are at home with our families.”
“Few people ever see us at work, but when you come in the morning your offices are clean. We work hard on low wages … part 6A is the only job security we have.”
Some businesses are trying to claim that part 6A hurts them because it stops them getting rid of “poor performing staff” - as if it's the fault of individual cleaners for their employer losing a contract.
What they don’t mention is “poor performing staff” they fire are sometimes offered their jobs back right away –on lower wages and with worse conditions.
Part 6A stops bad employers from winning contracts by bidding low, on the basis of cutting workers’ pay.
Submissions on the Bill close today, but you can still make your voice heard.
We’re holding rallies in August to show the Government that New Zealanders deserve fairness at work. You can spread the word about these changes on social media, and we’ve produced flyers explaining what the law changes mean.
Take action now for fairness at work!