City Care workers strike for pay parity

Published: Fri 2 Aug 2013 12:23 PM
August 2, 2013
Media Release
City Care workers strike for pay parity
Maintenance workers at City Care in Christchurch have walked off the job after the council-owned company refused to pay them the same as directly-employed council staff.
The strike involves 35 trades staff and will affect Christchurch’s water and waste pumping stations and network, facilities maintenance for council housing and properties, and fleet maintenance.
Workers have made themselves available for emergency call outs to ensure public health is not compromised by the action.
EPMU national industry organiser Ron Angel says the strike is about basic fairness.
“City Care is owned by the Christchurch City Council and does core council maintenance work, but if you’re a fitter and you happen to work for City Care you’ll be paid $4 an hour less than if you worked for the Council.
“Everyone can see this is unfair, but City Care is refusing to budge. Our members have been left with no option but to take industrial action.”
Christchurch City Holdings, which oversees the council’s trading companies, announced last month that it would increase dividends to Council to $140 million over the next three years – an increase of 50% on dividend pay-outs before the earthquake.
“City Care is telling us there’s no money, while at the same time its parent company is planning to increase its dividends to the Council by 50%,” says Ron Angel. “If there’s money to pay higher dividends then there’s money to pay workers fairly.”
Workers will be picketing outside the City Care depot in Milton Street this afternoon.

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