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(from overseas please dial +64 9 375 2680)Air NZ strike to go ahead after management walk out
Posted On: Thursday, 14 October 2004
A strike by Auckland and Christchurch ground based staff scheduled to start at 2.00 am Friday is set to go ahead after Air New Zealand management turned down a union offer to negotiate a new agreement in advance of the strike.
Service and Food Workers Union advocate Alastair Duncan says the talks failed to get off the ground when the company insisted upon a "take it or leave approach" to the mediation.
"We arrived willing to negotiate on any and all matters only to be told that it was a precondition of any bargaining that the strike notice was lifted.
"We were present to mediate. Management were there to dictate."
Alastair Duncan says the company would not explain why it had waited for 14 days before attending mediation nor would they explain why they had not responded to union attempts to discuss the issue at an earlier date.
"We made it clear to Air New Zealand that we were ready to sit down and negotiate today, tonight and tomorrow.
"However management rejected our request to bargain and refused to give us an opportunity to present a revised position."
"In the same week that Air New Zealand is willing to spend millions of dollars on new aircraft it is sad that it will not settle a pay dispute that would cost a fraction of their capital outlay."
Alastair Duncan says the company rejected a union request to continue the mediation tomorrow and then refused to commit to further talks next week.
"Friday's strike is a sad indictment of a management that has forgotten that it's airline runs as much on people as it does on jet fuel."
For further information contact Alastair Duncan on (021) 1374228
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