Thursday, 7 May 2009

More on Zeal

So when people like our bosses at Air NZ call us greedy for wanting a larger increase in our wages, most people tend to get around 4% and we’re asking for 26% it looks horrific in a percentage but when you take 4% of the base salary we’re on it still isn’t livable with a 24% increase that would bring us up to the equivalent of our domestic counter parts at Air NZ.
If I work a ten hour flight duty, 5 days a week, I get my $360 after tax and $48.70 for every day, that’s a totall take home pay of $603.50 per week keep in mind dry cleaning the uniform, a pair of stockings for work costs $8 so if you snag one of those thats 2 hours of pay gone… then theres make up and petrol all requirements for work. our Air Nz counter parts have allowances for these…for us it’s all inclusive in our $4.87 per hour.
Once you take out the work related costs, your rent and basic foods that’s it, it’s all gone! these are the numbers circling my head all night and the incoming doesn’t add up to my out goings all I need is one electrical bill or a phone bill to upset this balancing act!

This was from Zealgirl a new blog set up by a Zeal workers, who is about to go on strike.
If Air NZ can get away with paying some of its workers tens of thousands of dollars less by hiring them through the subsidiary, then they will. Not just that they will use more and more low-paid Zeal workers and fewer and fewer works who are on the better wages and conditions. And they won’t be the only company to do so

Workers’ unity is not just a political ideal – it’s an imperative, a survival imperative.

The strike was scheduled to last four days, and the company has locked the workers out for that time. There are solidarity rallies today (Thursday). Going down is an important way of showing your solidarity and showing the workers and the bosses that an injury to one is an injury to all:
Auckland: 0700 – 1000 at Victoria Park Market, opposite Air NZ Head Office, 185 Fanshawe Street. 1200 – 1500 at Auckland International Airport, main drop off area.

Wellington: Rally on Lambton Quay from 1100 to 1300. Meet outside Air NZ Holidays shop, corner Grey Street and Lambton Quay.

Christchurch: 1100 – 1200 at Air NZ Holidays shop. South City Mall, 549 Colombo Street

The other, vital, way you can support Zeal workers is financially.Zealgirl’s blog outlines the financial reality for Zeal workers:
There is no room for error or any unexpected bills, a lot of the crew rely on eating aeroplane food as they cannot afford groceries, if you don’t do any flying as a junior you take home just over $360 a week after tax that’s less than most peoples weekly out goings (for everything)
There doesn't appear to be information about where you donate yet, but there will be soon, and I'll put it up.

Here’s a full list of pickets and protests over the next four days (check the EPMU website for updates):
Rest of the post, whatever you want to be hidden, goes here.

Auckland
Thursday, May 7:
0700 – 1000 at Victoria Park Market, opposite Air NZ Head Office, 185 Fanshawe Street.
1200 – 1500 at Auckland International Airport, main drop off area.

Friday, May 8:
0600 – 1000 at Auckland International Airport, main drop off area.
1200 – 1600 at Auckland International Airport, main drop off area.

Sunday, May 10:
1200 – 1600 at Auckland International Airport, main drop off area.

Contact: Strachan Crang, 027 590 0049.

Wellington
Thursday, May 7:
Rally on Lambton Quay from 1100 to 1300. Meet outside Air NZ Holidays shop, corner Grey Street and Lambton Quay.

Contact: Glen Mitchell, 027 610 8552.

Christchurch
Thursday, May 7:
1100 – 1200 at Air NZ Holidays shop. South City Mall, 549 Colombo Street

Friday, May 8:
0800 – 1000 at Christchurch Airport, totem pole on Orchard Road near the entrance to the airport grounds.

Sunday, May 10:
1400-1600 at Christchurch Airport, totem pole on Orchard Road near the entrance to the airport grounds.

Contact: John Kerr, 027 591 0042.

First few paragraphs go here

13 comments:

A Nonny Moose said...

Wait a minute...$4.87 an hour? Isn't that ILLEGAL? Minimum wage is almost 3 times that!

Tamara said...

I think she's saying that's after tax.

libertyscott said...

Of course you could simply pay full fare economy class or business class when you cross the Tasman on Zeal320 flights so that these flights do better than break even.

Of course if you choose Pacific Blue or Jetstar you'll find staff being paid similar amounts of money.

Good luck for the staff, they can always leave of course and find another job in the height of a recession.

Julian said...

After taxes? Bummer that taxes were not dropped to help the workers over the last 9 years :)

Nobody is forcing them to work for Zeal, you make it sound like a death camp or something. If enough people walked away, Zeal would have no choice but to improve conditions. Instead Zeal staff keep on going to work every day like lambs to the slaughter.

anna c said...

Um Julian - I think that's exactly what they are doing by striking.

stargazer said...

tamara, even if that's after tax, it's still well below the minimum wage after grossing up.

libertyscott, you're kidding right? finding another job easy in a recession? when unemployment is climbing fast and the number of unemployment beneficiaries has doubled in the last year? that would tend to suggest that there are less jobs available.

julian: funny how the 1 april tax cuts provide very little benefit for those at the lower end - close to none at all. tax cuts will not help in this situation, because even at 0 tax, these people would be below the minimum wage. the way to improve people's income is by paying more wages, which is why the labour government raised the minimum wage every year in office. much more effective than a tax cut.

Nikki said...

I can only assume libertyscott was being sarcastic. I hope so anyway!

And Julian - I think you are missing the point that Zeal workers are being paid a stupid amount less than direct AirNZ employees for exactly the same job.

If enough people walked away then AirNZ/Zeal would be able to keep exploiting workers. It has to end now.

Tamara said...

Yeah, it seems low to me too. I am struggling with her figures though. Not to quibble, cause the main point is the equivlency with AirNZ staff, but I wouldn't mind if she explained her calculations.

A Nonny Moose said...

Ok, even if that's after tax, you wouldn't be paying over 50% tax.

Nikki said...

OK, you need to visit the blog to see the further explanation of the pay rate.

Basically she gets $360 base rate. Then they get a $4.87p/h non taxable allowance (?) for the hours that they fly which is to be used for petrol/dry cleaning/other work expenses. AirNZ staff get an allowance ON TOP of their payment for flight hours while Zeal doesn't.

That's where the $4.87 comes from.

Nikki said...

P.S. Visit the blog to read the bit about how AirNZ has been calculating Zeal employees "income" to see how unfair this is.

Tamara said...

ah, yes, my bad, I did mean to read further...

Julian said...

Stargazer - I work in careers advising and there are still plenty of jobs available.

I don't want to go into a debate about what is better, minimum wages or tax cuts as that comes down to your philosophy on who should keep their own wages, the Govt or workers (I prefer workers getting more take home pay through low taxes). However Labour didn't do their job properly if this is happening now.