Air NZ claims are false - EPMU - RePress

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Thursday, May 7

Air NZ claims are false - EPMU

Air New Zealand's media claims regarding Zeal 320 negotiations are patently false says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.

The airline has claimed Zeal crew receive pay rates starting at more than $40,000, that the union has refused to negotiate and that they are claiming parity with international crew. None of which bear scrutiny.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the false claims show the company has no real argument.

"The pay rates the company are claiming are absurd and if they were really guaranteeing our members the rates they claim then this industrial action wouldn't be happening.

"During negotiations we've reduced our claims to below the terms and conditions domestic crew receive and the company still hasn't moved. To claim our members are demanding parity with international crew is a blatant lie.

"We've made ourselves available to negotiate for nearly eight months now even after the airline complicated the matter by insisting I personally turn up to the table. By comparison Rob Fyfe refused to front for even an hour, even though he calls the shots and seems to have plenty of time to serve coffee to passengers.

"This whole line of argument from Air New Zealand is an obvious attempt to divert from the real issue, which is that these workers are paid thousands less despite doing the same work, wearing the same uniforms and flying to the same destinations as crew employed directly by Air New Zealand."

Locked out Zeal 320 crew member and Air New Zealand award winner, Stephanie Jeeves, says the company's claims are an insult.

"We've done the same job as other Air New Zealand crew for years and been paid thousands of dollars less than domestic, let alone international, and to now have the company misrepresenting our pay rates is a slap in the face.

"If Air New Zealand want to offer us the domestic deal we'll take it, I'd like to see them put their money where their mouth is."

The EPMU represents 240 of approximately 270 Zeal 320 crew.

On the other hand,Air New Zealand is reassuring customers that Tasman and Pacific Island services will continue to operate during the four-day strike by Zeal EPMU members which begins Thursday and runs through Mother's Day weekend.

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