Rebuild Better in aviation

The aviation sector is a public good and a driver in New Zealand’s economy yet the industry is increasingly characterised by a race to the bottom, when it should be providing stable, secure employment, a Living Wage, and a voice at workplace and industry levels. That’s why we have to Rebuild Better in Aviation.

The aviation sector in New Zealand directly employed over 20,000 workers and accounted for more than 1.1% of New Zealand’s GDP (more than $2.7 billion). An additional 74,000 jobs have been generated by the provision of goods and services within the immediate supply chain of the industry. Yet, the industry is currently characterised by:

  • poor and inequitable pay and conditions
  • lack of voice in the future shape of the aviation industry
  • the subcontracting and fragmentation of labour
  • low-cost airlines driving out unionised labour
  • prioritisation of shareholder rewards and executive pay.

Solutions in the aviation industry

Retention of jobs during the COVID-19 crisis industry downturn and a ‘just transition’ for those who lost jobs is a priority.  However, the industry will bounce back and workers’ wages should lead this recovery with a Living Wage floor across the whole aviation community.  Decent jobs include reducing the subcontracting and outsourcing of airport services that drives down wages through competition.

COVID-19 has created an opportunity for us to redesign how aviation members engage in industrial democracy. Fair Pay Agreements have the potential to deliver good training, health and safety protections, decent wages and conditions, and to provide a voice for union members in the firm and industry.  It’s time to create a new model of worker engagement in decision-making that recognises not just capital investment, but the investment of workers’ labour in the business.

We can Rebuild Better if Government:

  • recognises aviation is a public good that warrants public ownership and oversight, and caps executive and shareholder benefits
  • regulates participation of workers as citizens in the development of strategies that shape the future of the industry through works councils that give workers a genuine say
  • embeds tripartism as an important tool to rebuild better in aviation, bringing together the diverse interests of iwi, unions, employers and Government.

We can Rebuild Better if local councils:

  • acknowledge aviation as a public good, with ratepayers investing in decent jobs in local economies.

Next steps

Our aviation members are very active on Facebook. Email to request info about joining the Facebook group that’s right for your job and/or employer.

If you’re an aviation worker and want to help Rebuild Better but you’re not in the union yet, click here to join E tū today.

Our member stories

Click here to read about Shanille Reynolds’ experience in union and company decision making in aviation.