SkyCity’s Auckland Workers Strike Over Hours

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Workers at Auckland’s SkyCity Casino are so unhappy with their unconventional working hours that they are resorting to strike actions in order to make their voices heard. About 94% of the casino’s workforce recently rejected a counter-offer made by SkyCity’s operator and said that what management was willing to offer in terms of remuneration for especially nights and weekends worked simply wasn’t good enough to compensate for the off-beat hours.

A shocking 97% of workers supported the strike and Unite Union has indicated that its support is unwaveringly lodged behind its members. Not only are staff unhappy about the actual pay received from the casino, but they are also demanding to be granted the liberty of choosing their own working hours.

Pay To Justify Hours

Staff are insisting to be paid more for working nights and weekends than what is currently the case because according to them, these are the time slots during which the bulk of the casino’s profit is generated.

Unite Union is now calling for penalty payments to be made to workers willing to work outside of traditional business hours and has explained that it believes that this arrangement would serve the casino as well as the workers because of the fact that higher rates of remuneration for hours worked at night and over weekends will incentivise those who are able to work unconventional hours, to offer to do so because of the monetary motivation.

SkyCity Willing To Negotiate

Unite Union national secretary Gerard Hehir explains that a big part of the problem is the fact that currently, no “after-hours” pay is offered by the operator. Even lower-income workers are expected to work a rotation that includes nights and weekends and without much consideration on the part of the operator with regards to issues like family responsibilities and travel time and additional expenses incurred by these workers for having to clock in and out at irregular hours.

SkyCity has in the meantime commented on the strike action and has said that wage negotiation processes are currently underway and being discussed with union representatives. The operator is willing to fork out between 6% and 25% more to workers willing to work nights and weekends and is moreover willing to accommodate workers who find it difficult to do so as a result of responsibilities at home.