Today’s launch of the new union E tū, formed through the merger of the EPMU and the Service and Food Workers’ Union, has been welcomed by the Green Party.
The new union covers over 50,000 members and is New Zealand’s largest private sector union.
“A strong union movement is essential to reducing inequality, and I am confident the new E tū union, with its larger membership base and organising capacity, will be able to cover more hard working New Zealanders in the private sector,” said Green Party Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Denise Roche.
“There is strength in numbers, with all the evidence showing that people who are unionised and bargain collectively get better pay and working conditions than those who are left to fend for themselves in negotiations.
“We have seen major attacks on workers’ rights by the National Party Government, including the 90 day fire at will law, the allowing of employers to opt out of concluding collective agreement and bargain with workers individually, the watering down of health and safety law, and the proposed legitimisation of zero-hour contracts under which people have no guaranteed hours of employment.
“We need a strong union movement, as well as the political support of parties such as the Greens who support workers’ rights, to counter these attacks and improve the pay and conditions of hard working New Zealanders.
“The launch of the E tū union is a step towards this, and has the full support of the Green Party.
“As an indication of my personal support, I have today signed up as an E tū union member,” Ms Roche said.