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Secure our Hours

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Living Wage campaign


Secure Our Hours

You might have noticed that casual, low and zero hours contracts are on the rise at Countdown. More and more members from Countdown are coming forward with their concerns. Members are alarmed at:

Get Out And Vote

Nearly a third of Kiwis didn’t vote in the last election. That’s not good for our democracy. But if we work together, we can help turn that around in 2014.

Pay Equity Challenge

FIRST Union is a member of the Pay Equity Challenge coalition - a broad coalition of community, employer, union, and academic groups who are committed to putting pay equity issues back on the Government’s, and New Zealand’s, agenda.

Putting Workers First

MembersThe National Distribution Union and Finsec joined forces on 1 October 2011 to form New Zealand’s newest union – FIRST Union. 

We are 27,000 workers in Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood) Retail, Stores & Transport, who have come together to get a better deal at work.

If you’re not a member of the union, join today to win higher pay, better conditions and have more say at work.

Read the articles below to read about what's happening in FIRST Union, or click here to view all the latest news.




Retail workers’ union unconvinced with government’s Easter trading proposals

Date of Release: 
Monday, August 24, 2015

The government’s plan to allow local authorities to determine whether shops and garden centres can open on Easter Sunday just shifts the problem to a different decision-maker, says FIRST Union Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay.

“The Minister’s promise that the law will give workers the choice to accept or decline work without reason is hollow.”

“The same promise was made when Sunday trading was introduced, but it never came to anything,” says Gay. 

Marsden Point oil refinery announces spectacular half-year result amid low wage offer

Date of Release: 
Thursday, August 20, 2015

While the New Zealand Refining Company Limited posts a spectacular half-year profit, a union representing workers at the site is questioning whether a proposed 0.5% pay rise is all the company can afford.

“Despite announcing a healthy half-year result, the Marsden Point bargaining team is only offering workers a miserly 0.5 percent pay rise,” says FIRST Union organiser Jared Abbott.

Industrial unrest spreads as Warehouse workers reject wage offer

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
  • Workers at the Warehouse Blenheim to strike after 30 cent wage offer
  • This follows a strike at the Warehouse Manukau on Thursday
  • More stores across the country to follow

Striking workers at the Warehouse Blenheim are calling on the company to live up to its own rhetoric and pay a decent wage, says FIRST Union organiser Dennis Maga.

Record turnout at Gisborne union meeting as workers commit to action

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
  • Workers sign a petition calling on Anne Tolley to oppose the Health and Safety Reform Bill
  • Workers commit to opposing the TPPA at Heipipi Park at 4.30pm today

After record turnout at an annual FIRST Union meeting, workers are making commitments to take action on several fronts says FIRST Union organiser Colleen Ryan.

After Blenheim, workers at the Warehouse New Lynn vote for strike action

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In a strike ballot held at 3pm today, workers at the Warehouse New Lynn have voted for strike action.

Workers will hit the picket line at approximately 3.30pm.

This follows strike action at the Warehouse Blenheim at midday today and the Warehouse Manukau last Thursday.

Further strikes are expected in the coming weeks. 

Workers at the Warehouse Manukau walk off the job in “wildcat” strike

Date of Release: 
Thursday, August 6, 2015

Union members at the Warehouse Manukau are undertaking a “wildcat” strike* after rejecting the company’s measly offer of a 30 cent wage increase, says FIRST Union organiser Dennis Maga.

“If workers accept the offer of a 30 cent wage increase then that would only lift the lowest pay rate to $15.32 - nowhere near the levels needed to support a family in Auckland.”

“Workers were so insulted with the 30 cent offer that they voted to undertake a wildcat strike,” says Maga.


In the News

Q+A panel

Date of Release: 

Our Retail and Finance Secretary Maxine Gay appeared on the Q+A panel on Sunday. 

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Maxine Gay: Easter trading? Some things are more important than shopping

Date of Release: 

Maxine had an op-ed published in the Herald on the ludicrous proposal to change Easter trading laws. 

Workers deserve better. 

"I think he's got it terribly wrong" - Maxine Gay slams Easter trading proposals

Date of Release: 

Maxine Gay, our Retail and Finance Secretary, appeared on TV One's Breakfast to oppose the government's proposed changes to Easter trading laws. 

Workers get 3 and a half guaranteed days off each year. We think those are worth protecting, not reducing.

Karl Andersen on safety standards

Date of Release: 

Our Transport and Logistics Secretary, Karl Andersen, spoke to the New Zealand Herald about the urgent need for clear safety standards in the waste and rubbish collection industry. 

There have been 11 deaths in the industry since 2001.

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