Source: First Union – Unite defeats zero hour contracts, but new examples emerge

FIRST Union is congratulating Unite Union on their win against zero hour contracts at McDonalds, says FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

“We are standing in solidarity with Unite Union on May Day”.

“But the issues of insecure work and insecure hours remain. Low contracted hours are just as common as zero hours and just as unfair and exploitative,” says Reid.

“In the retail sector workers are regularly kept on low hours. When new hours become available retail employers often opt for new workers who are then put on low hours as well”.

“FIRST Union will be entering negotiations with major retail chains this year and winning secure and predictable hours will be a major focus for our bargaining teams,” says Reid.

“Many of FIRST Union’s existing collective agreements already implicitly preclude zero hour contracts, but recent law changes mean new workers who are employed at a workplace with a collective agreement may no longer be covered under that agreement for the first 30 days”.

“The opportunity for an increase in zero hour contracts has just been created by the same government that says it will outlaw them”.

“FIRST Union is investigating reports that one major retail chain has used this new law to offer  zero hour contracts at a new site where the collective agreement implicitly precludes such provisions,” says Reid.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.