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Strike At Auckland Casino On Chinese New Year To Protest Contract Offer And Discrimination Against Chinese Staff

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Staff at the SkyCity Casino in Auckland, New Zealand, will be striking on Chinese New Year against what they call an inadequate contract offer and to protest discrimination against Chinese workers.

A full shift strike has been called starting 8pm Wednesday February 2 until 8pm February 3. Around 1100 of the casino's 2500 staff are members of two unions (either Unite Union or the Service and Food Workers Union) who have a Collective Agreement together with the company.

About a third of the total staff at the Casino are Chinese. The Casino targets high value Chinese players to come from around the world to play. They are expecting groups from Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and mainland China to come and play this Chinese New Year.

But the union claims that Chinese staff are targets of discrimination because the company has introduced a policy that prevents them from being able to use their legal rights to access holiday leave for 17 days from February 2 this year. They imposed similar policies in the last two years.

Unite Union National Director Mike Treen who represents the workers in the Casino said that "the greatest impact of this policy is on the Chinese members who value the period of Chinese New Year to be with family and so on. To have the weeks before or after the actual day blocked from being used is discriminatory. While it is true that there is a blackout also for the Xmas-New Year period this is quite different from Chinese New Year. It includes 4 public holidays and combines two celebrations important in NZ. Chinese New Year is not a public holiday and denying Chinese staff access to any time off over a period of several weeks to be with their families is discriminatory in our view."

"We think players who want a good time on Chinese New Year should avoid the Auckland Casino. We will be striking and picketing to express our anger and disgust at the way this company treats its staff."

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