Air New Zealand’s $1000 share bonus good start says Etū, now how about the living wage?

A union says a $1000 share bonus for about 8000 staff is a good start and now was the right time to get all workers on the living wage.

”We need to remember that there are still hundreds of Air New Zealand workers who are only paid the minimum wage,” said head of aviation for Etū, Savage.

From September the living wage will be paid at $22.75 an hour, the minimum wage is $20 an hour now.

Savage said the union wanted to see the company rebuilding as an accredited living wage employer – an airline where all aviation workers and contractors are paid at that rate or more.

”And where all employees have a clear collective voice at work,” he said.

The move to offer $1000 share bonuses – which will be paid at the end of the year – and other benefits recognises workers’ contributions and demonstrated the benefits of New Zealand Government’s approach to eliminating the virus and limiting the pandemic’s ability to damage our economy, said Savage.

“Air New Zealand’s offer along with other indications is a clear step forward in the airline’s recovery and rebuild. It is in no small way due to the hard work and sacrifices made by aviation workers, who have borne the brunt of much of the upheaval caused by the pandemic.”

About 4500 Air New Zealand staff lost their jobs after Covid-19 hit.

Around 35 aviation workers contracted Covid-19 themselves.

”At Air New Zealand, some E tū collectives agreed to temporarily suspend contractual entitlements until the company had started to recover,” said Savage.

The airline’s chief executive Greg Foran said the share bonus was ”the right thing to do given the mahi and sacrifices Air New Zealanders have made to get the airline through Survive and into its Revive phase”.

“By awarding shares to our employees, the airline wanted them to have the chance to benefit from the future success we will really need their help to deliver.

“I’m immensely proud of the way our people have responded to the Covid-19 crisis. They have risen to the occasion, working hard to keep New Zealand connected and Kiwis safe.”

Some pilots and crew spent more than 100 days in isolation to help reunite thousands of overseas Kiwis with their loved ones,” said Foran.

In addition to shares, after 15 months of reduced salaries, the airline will end employee salary reductions fromJuly for all those impacted, including executives and directors.

The airline announced today that it was on track to make an earnings loss that could be similar to the last financial year – $450 million.

Air New Zealand said it had nothing to add to E tū’s wage push and said the number of workers who contracted Covid-19 was in line with the size of its workforce what other aviation businesses had experienced.

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