SkyCity Casino in Auckland has seen hundreds of workers walk off their jobs for a second straight week in what is considered the biggest migrant strike in the entire history of New Zealand.
Reportedly, almost 900 casino employees refused to take night shifts and required better working conditions for working overnight and weekend.
According to the spokesman of the union representing the casino workers, Joe Carolan, SkyCity suggested that its casino employees would not have to work over the weekends but the workers do not want that. They simply insist on getting better working conditions.
The national secretary of the Unite Union, Gerard Hehir, has confirmed that the organisation which has been defending casino workers’ rights had been disappointed with the approach which SkyCity has been demonstrating in the ongoing dispute with its employees. He revealed that the casino operator simply had unveiled no offer for the weekend and night shifts of its employees. According to him, the Unite Union was pretty clear about the issues the represented workers were willing to negotiate and has offered to discuss various options but none of them got any movements from SkyCity.
Previous Offer Made by SkyCity Gets Rejected by Unite Union’s Members
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the union which represents SkyCity Casino workers’ rights has been willing to see some incentives for working nights and weekends.
Representatives of the casino employees have already unveiled that some of them would be happy to be available for night or weekend shifts if they are promised higher payment. According to both SkyCity workers and the Unite Union, employees who take such shifts deserve to be encouraged for that by being provided with fair payment.
The support for the strike at SkyCity Casino Auckland has been growing, with 50 staff members reportedly signing up to the organisation since the first week of strike action. The Unite Union also projected that sooner or later, all of the part-time and casual workers would realize that they could not keep the tough shifts’ pace and SkyCity would be forced to make a more adequate offer.
Reportedly, 49% of the Unite Union members agreed to deny the latest offer made by the casino operator. The union’s spokesman explained that the casino economy could face serious setbacks at some stage and further noted that the strike action would be the largest one started by migrant workers in the entire history of New Zealand.
Last week, SkyCity made an offer for payrise from 6% to 25% over the next two years, but the casino workers, most of whom are members of the Unite Union, rejected the offer. The company, however, claims that it remains committed to providing fair conditions and opportunities for its employees. SkyCity also reiterated its intention to continue working in collaboration with the Unite Union and its members to find a resolution that would be suitable for all parties.