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Thursday, October 8

Greens and SFWU sign up to fight for workers and environment

Signing a memorandum of understanding with one of the country’s biggest unions shows the Green Party is firmly committed to a fair and sustainable society, Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei said today.

This morning the Green Party and the Service and Food Worker’s union (SFWU) signed an agreement to work together to create a sustainable society in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The SFWU represents tens of thousands of employees in New Zealand’s hospitals, food processing industries and tourism sectors.

"At present both the environment and worker’s rights are under attack," said Mrs Turei.

"Right now it is especially important that the Green Party and the SFWU forge allegiances in order to fight for a fair and sustainable New Zealand society."

"The Greens have either initiated or supported every pro-worker legislative initiative taken over the last decade. We will resolutely defend workers’ rights against the newfound employer militancy the election of a National Government has encouraged and against future legislative attacks on workers by the National-led Government."

Green MPs have recently spent time with SFWU disability support workers seeing the sort of work that they do. The SFWU has been campaigning for these workers to get the same pay as their counterparts in the DHBs.

Green MP Sue Kedgley has also been working on a number of aged care issues that the SFWU has been campaigning on such as:

• Campaigning to get targeted Government funding in order to lift the rates for Aged Care workers to a sustainable level

• Introducing minimum NZQA-linked qualifications for caregivers and also

minimum staffing levels.

"The people who care for our elderly, sick and disabled deserve a lot better treatment than they are currently getting," said Mrs Turei.

"These workers are the real heroes of the New Zealand economy rather than the corporate high flyers who are regularly featured in our media.

"At present workers in New Zealand are feeling the strain of the recession, and many aren’t getting a fair go. We believe that by joining forces with the SFWU today we can make a difference for these people," said Mrs Turei.