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Union backs Green Party call for hospitality sector working group

The Hospo Workers Union (HWU), a rank-and-file union of hospo workers for hospo workers is endorsing the policy proposal of the Green Party for a hospitality sector working group that brings together trade unions, employers and the Government to jointly chart a more sustainable future for the hospitality industry.

“The hospitality industry is one of the most precarious industries with high worker turnover, low pay and long hours. Furthermore, international studies have shown that hospo workers are more likely to have alcohol problems and smoking habits and have higher second-hand smoke inhalation than the general population,” said Zebedee Schrader, Secretary of the Hospo Workers Union.

“As hospitality slowly resumes and the pandemic subsidies, this is an incredible opportunity to work together on improving some of these problems which not only have this effect on hospo workers but are also detrimental to the hospitality sector as a whole,” continued Schrader.

Due to the large number of small employers in the hospitality sector, the standard union practice of collective bargaining with a single employer limits the change that HWU as a union of hospo workers can see on a sector-wide scale. The Green Party’s proposal has the potential to create an entirely new employment relations system for the post-Coronavirus workplace. 

“Just as the Employment Relations Act 2000 radically changed employment relations frameworks established by the Employment Contracts Act 1991, we are excited by this opportunity to again reimagine and improve the system of workers’ rights in Aotearoa New Zealand,” finished Schrader.

The Hospo Workers Union looks forward to engaging constructively with the Green Party and other stakeholders to make this a reality.

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Hospo union calls for increased worker protections during COVID-19 recovery

The Hospo Workers Union (HWU) is calling for greater attention to be paid to the health and safety of workers on May Day, including a government supply of primary protective equipment to workers of all businesses operating during the pandemic alert plan.

While we may have avoided a significant ‘first wave’ of COVID-19, many hospitality and other workers are now actually at greater health and safety risk due to increased opportunity for exposure to COVID-19.

Zebedee Schrader, Secretary of the Hospo Workers Union and a hospitality worker in Wellington said, “After over a month of cooking their own food, Kiwis are now re-discovering why our country is known for its culinary scene. As the crowds outside restaurants have shown, hospitality is fast becoming a de facto essential service for Kiwis. It is important that hospo workers and businesses get the support they need to not put any workers’ health at risk.”

The Hospo Workers Union has a small supply of PPE available to its members, but a comprehensive response requires a government-level solution. Many restaurants are small, owner-operated businesses who cannot adequately source PPE which is in already scarce supply. 

“Prime Minister Ardern and the Government have been providing excellent leadership through these uncertain times and ensuring Aoteaoa has the best response possible to the COVID-19 crisis. This has had great success, and we believe this small measure simply makes our collective response even stronger. We need to have the backs of everyone on our five-million strong team,” continued Schrader.

The Employment Relations Act 2000 provides a framework within which workers are allowed to take industrial action for health and safety purposes. To ensure healthy and harmonious workplaces, the Government needs to do more to provide workers and businesses, particularly in hospitality, with the protection required.