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COVID-19: To all HWU Members

Dear friends and comrades,

Lots of you have probably heard the news that Auckland has a new COVID-19 case and has been placed into Level 3 restrictions until Friday, at which time the Ministry of Health hopes to understand more about the origin of the case so that response measures can be taken. Until this time, the rest of the country is back in Level 2 restrictions. If you had not heard yet, surprise!

We are contacting our Auckland members and delegates over the next 12 hours to ensure that they and their workmates can stay safe and secure during this week but wanted to contact everybody to let us know the union is there for you: at work, or if we can’t work at all.

This is a developing situation and we do not know what will happen beyond Friday at this point in time. Please follow us on Twitter or Facebook as we will continue to post updates there, but rest assured we will be in touch as the situation and countermeasures both develop.

Do not hesitate to talk to us if there is anything we can help with, or if you just want someone who understands the situation to chat to. It is a daunting feeling not knowing if we will be back in Level Four or what might happen in the slightest, but we will always be here for you.

Some trade unions overseas have adopted the slogan “physical distancing, social solidarity” and we share that sentiment with all of you tonight.

Our best wishes,

Madds & Zeb

HWU

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Press Releases

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.