15 Oct 2019

SkyCity workers picket over unsociable hours

7:28 pm on 15 October 2019

SkyCity casino workers have been picketing outside an Auckland hotel, where the company's boss has been talking about fair pay.

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Photo: RNZ / Liu Chen

The workers have gone on strike several times during the past two months, asking to be paid time and a half for working unsociable hours, but were not able to reach an agreement with the company.

They hoped SkyCity chairman Rob Campbell, who was at a Wellbeing at Work conference talking about fair and transparent practices for pay, could talk to them and make a change.

A long-time casino dealer, who didn't want to be named, said what they got has been decreasing over the years as the cost of living got higher.

"When I started the work seven years ago, the rate of pay somehow covered all the issues of giving away the weekend time or night time, but at the moment it's not, which is why we're trying to get recognition for all the hours that go in those unsociable hours," she said.

She said she loved her job even though her social life has been affected, but would like to be paid more.

"By doing this it would be a win-win situation because we will be happier workers and well-rested. If not well-rested, at least compensated for what we give away. I think that would work for the company as well."

Joe Carolan, a convenor for the Unite Union's SkyCity division SEA-Unite, said not all hours are the same.

"Surely if we're talking about fair pay, we should listen to the cleaners. We should listen to the workers who are paid the least and work the hardest in this conversation. He's lecturing the rest of New Zealand about fair pay, maybe he should listen to his workers first," Mr Carolan said.

RNZ has approached SkyCity for comment.