10 Mar 2020

Covid-19: Union denies strike is opportunistic after Ministry of Health dressing down

From Morning Report, 6:17 am on 10 March 2020

The union representing lab workers has hit back at accusations from the director general of health that it's using the coronavirus situation as leverage in an industrial dispute.

Some laboratory workers are due to strike for better pay and conditions this Friday - the same week health officials say they're ramping up testing.

The Director General Ashley Bloomfield used a press conference yesterday to say he was disappointed they were taking advantage of Covid-19's arrival.

Apex union advocate David Munro told RNZ Health Correspondent Rowan Quinn the strike was first planned at Christmas and the timing is unfortunate because lab workers want to help.