Well first flight back at work…..another day over the Tasman!
The support was over whelming, Gold Elite passengers (high value customers) saying good on us for taking a stand for equal working conditions and pay! We had another union member travelling as a passenger on board today, he give us a supportive pat on the back! One lady came down the back pointed at my industrial action sticker and said “good on you, you are all hard workers”
So the nerves I had when I woke up this morning have all gone it’s been a great boost and reminder that we’re not alone in this and we have a lot of support!
Hearing back from non union members, who worked over the industrial action, it sounds as though other people in the business had a greater understanding of what we actually do every day and how hard it actually is, mentally and physically….most of the helpers only worked one or two days and even at the end of it they needed a day off…..nice way to prove a point I say!
If anything it gave Air New Zealanders and Upper Management a clear understanding of what goes on in our jobs! I hope they can use this experience when it comes to negotiations they can think about their time spent in our shoes and come to nice resolution for both parties!
I am still concerned that management are not listening to what we want I have seen a few letters in response to passengers emailing the company (in support for us) and comments made in the media..And I am seeing and hearing facts and figures that are not true to what we’re asking for…maybe if they listen to what we are asking for we may have this resolved a lot quicker!
For Passenger who do read this blog or Management who would like a clear understanding of how we see the situation…… here is the story
How much did you pay for this seat? Did you get your discount? Because the flight attendants on this flight are discount crew!
When the crew on this flight were hired for this job they were lead to believe that they were going to be working for Air New Zealand, and with the uniform they wear, the service they provide and the aircraft they work on you are probably thinking too that they are employed by Air New Zealand. But months into the job these people found out that they weren’t really employed by Air New Zealand, but by Zeal 320, a subsidiary company owned 100% by Air New Zealand!
The crew on this flight have an annual salary ranging between $25,625.84 (starting rate) and $29,000. The In-flight Service Manager who is wholly responsible for the safety of all passengers and crew onboard has an annual salary of $35,000 – $36,000. Whether they are a junior or a senior flight attendant all crew earn the same tax free duty allowance of $4.87 an hour for every hour of flying however they do not get this allowance if they are on annual leave, are sick or are injured and they are required to survive and support their families off their base salary for this amount of time. This $4.87 an hour also has to cover dry-cleaning the uniform, stockings (which cost around $8 a pair so if they sang one of those there goes 2 hours of pay), makeup, petrol and food while they are away from home whereas their Air New Zealand counterparts get allowances for all of these things.
With a take home pay of approximately $360 per week after tax a lot of these crew rely on food that is leftover after they have served you as their breakfast, lunch and dinner each day as they cannot afford groceries. Many of these crew also have second jobs just to supplement their income and support their families.
What was your reason for travelling with Air New Zealand? For those of you whose answer is because of the excellent service they provide and the fact that you get meals and entertainment on board should be wondering where your airfare went because the crew on this flight get paid less than those crew on budget airlines where you are not offered any of these things.
And for those of you that have flown domestically with Air New Zealand before, did you find the service any better than the service today? Because domestic crew earn 26% more than the crew on this flight. Pay parity with their domestic colleagues is all these crew are asking for.
These crew all love their jobs, none of them want to leave but without your support some of them will be forced to. To support them in their fight for equality please go to http://www.epmu.org.nz.