ANZAC spirit gives Kiwi workers pay parity with their Aussie comrades in offshore industry
A small group of oil riggers, who work off the New Plymouth on the New Zealand coast, have just proved that you don't have to move to Australia to earn Australian wages - all thanks to the Trans Tasman Oil and Gas Alliance.
The alliance of the maritime unions of Australia and New Zealand, the Australia Workers Union (AWU) and the Engineering Printing Manufacturing Union (EPMU) NZ struck the pay parity deal this week, giving NZ offshore workers pay parity with their Aussie workmates doing the same job on the same rig.
"It brings our wages up to the same level as our Australian comrades," said Swiss born NZ rig worker Stefan Schwartz sporting a TransTasman offshore Alliance T shirt on national television. "So the ANZAC alliance is alive and we're all very happy with that."
"Everyones doing the same job they're on the same page, they're getting the same wage so in the workplace that's how it should be anyway," said Aussie rig worker Justin Hayes.
What's more, the EPMU says the deal has triggered more claims for wages in line with Australia's.
"This is a good news story," said MUA Deputy National Secretary Mick Doleman. "It works at a number of levels by implementing our move to regionalise the Offshore Task Force in Asia Pacific; giving meaning to the ITF slogan of "Organising Globally" and providing a model for other unions."