Give Spotless the boot

Give Spotless the bootSend a message to Spotless and the District Health Boards – stop the lockout and agree to a fair deal!

Eight hundred members of the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) have been locked out from their jobs as cleaners, kitchen staff and orderlies in ten major hospitals. Spotless, the local arm of an Australian based company, has locked the workers out for two weeks in an attempt to force them to agree to bargain outside the framework of a national pay settlement for other public hospital workers.

Spotless has paid among the lowest rates in the sector, with many workers paid on or near the minimum wage of NZ$11.25. The national settlement would see pay rise for as much as $3 an hour for 3,000 low waged workers.

Over the past year union lobbying has secured an additional $16 million of new government funding. Although 21 other employers have signed up to the deal Spotless, the largest employer in the sector, has refused to be part of national agreement and insists on completely separate bargaining.

Spotless management has now locked out its workforce, meaning many union members are going without pay will they campaign for spotless to sign up to the national agreement to spend new government funding on its workers. please send your message to lobby the District Health boards to intervene and require Spotless to lift the lockout.

You can help! – click here to send a message of support

You can read more about the dispute including yesterday’s daily update from the SFWU, a call for the Southland District Health Board to be held to account over its failure to intervene in dispute, and Campbell Live’s story “hospitals prepare for chaos“. And, if you are in Auckland tomorrow make sure you bring any old shoes you have tomorrow to 600B Great South Road at 10:30am – 1pm. The Spotless union members are going to pile hundreds of old shoes in front of the Spotless main building to give them a clear message – get out of public hospitals!

(thanks to SFWU for the photo and to gbgcommunications for the video)

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1 Response to “Give Spotless the boot”


  1. 1 Insolent Prick 19 July, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    I want to see low-paid workers being paid more. One way unions can do that is to inform their members about what skills they need to become more productive and more valuable in the workplace. They can actively advise members in low-paid workplaces where they can get higher-paying jobs elsewhere.

    If Spotless couldn’t hire staff because nobody was willing to work for them, and instead went elsewhere, Spotless would be out of business.

    Except what do the unions do? They use their position to ensure workers remain at Spotless for the sake of advancing the union’s own interests: forcing Spotless into a multi-site agreement negotiated by the union, so it can use its power to monopolise the union membership in every workplace.

    I think the Commerce Commission should investigate the SWFU’s attempts to create a monopoly of labour supply, and undue influence to the prejudice of low-income workers.


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