Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Another lockout

When we think of labour disputes, we usually think of strikes and workers walking off the job in pursuit of higher wages and conditions. But those tactics cut both ways, and employers can also prevent their employees from workign and earning a living in an attempt to force them to accept whatever terms are offered. This is known as a lockout - and with the labour shortage putting employers under increasing pressure to improve wages and conditions, it is being increasingly used in New Zealand.

For the past four weeks, the Airport Gateway Hotel in Auckland has locked out a dozen of its workers. They're paid minimum wage, and get no recognition for skills and experience, so they had done what workers the world over have done: organised in an attempt to get a better deal. In retaliation, the hotel locked them out indefinitely, and brought in illegal labour to do their work. Because trying to get together to ask for a better deal is akin to rebellion and must be punished by effective dismissal.

If you don't like employers treating their workers like revolting serfs and trying to starve them into submission, please contact the hotel's manager, Rakesh Sharma, at 0800 651 110, or email him here.

(Hat tip: The Standard)