SkyCity Entertainment has rejected the claims of the Unite Union that 100 Convention Centre jobs are put at risk.
As revealed by a representative of the union that acts on behalf of the operator’s employees, some senior managers had already been dismissed by the operator. The Unite Union further noted that SkyCity has been making arrangements to talk with the representatives of the workers about future redundancies and workers’ wages.
Joe Carolan, a senior organiser at the Unite Union, said that a lay-off process is currently on at SkyCity, so the union has been trying to get staff members transferred elsewhere. According to Mr Carolan, the redundancies started by the gambling operator could be described as a “shocking betrayal”, considering the fact that SkyCity had made some promises to boost the number of jobs at the time when the new Convention Centre was established.
Actually, the gambling operator confirmed that at present times, there are 210 employed in that part of its business, but denied the claims that 100 jobs were at risk. A spokeswoman for the company shared that there will be a period of time where no events or conventions would be held there because of the delays of the New Zealand International Convention Centre (NZICC) and the imminent shutdown of the Convention Centre.
NZICC Construction Delayed by the Project Contractor, SkyCity Says
SkyCity’s spokeswoman has explained that only eight employees’ roles had been so far affected by the NZICC delay. She further noted that the company had done everything to redeploy those roles across its business where possible, and redundancy had only been offered as an option.
She also said that more jobs are set to be created in the future by the new facilities owned by the company. Such a workforce increase is expected at the time when the Horizon Hotel, NZICC and ancillary facilities open, with approximately 800 additional jobs set to be created.
The gambling and entertainment operator had initially planned to open the new Convention Centre in the first quarter of 2019, but the project contractor Fletcher Building delayed it. Currently, the building is set to be opened in the second half of 2020. The casino operator had revealed that its annual liquidated damages amounted to approximately NZ$40 million due to the delay.
Despite that, employee unions have continued to put pressure on the gambling company. This week, they organised strike action under the SkyCity Employees Association banner, as workers have been calling for SkyCity to increase their night and weekend shifts’ wages. The Unite Union has previously revealed that nights and weekends are normally the busiest times at the casino and explained that SkyCity needs to provide incentives for employees who are willing to take the shifts which bring the casino most revenue.