MBIE workers to go on strike

  • 20/10/2015
MBIE workers to go on strike

Staff at the controversy-plagued Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment are going on strike over a so-called "culture of mistrust" within the super-ministry.

More than 1000 workers have voted to take industrial action on November 5 and November 23, with two-hour stop-work strikes planned.

Their union, the Public Service Association, says MBIE is refusing to offer any pay increases and management continue to contribute to poor workplace culture.

"These people help keep to set the standard for all New Zealand workers, but face unfair bosses who won't take them seriously in their own workplace," national secretary Erin Polaczuk said.

Union members did not take lightly the decision to strike but did so "overwhelmingly", she said.

Labour's economic development spokesman David Clark says it's "humiliating" for the ministry that handles labour relations to be accused of having a poor workplace culture.

"It is also rank hypocrisy that a ministry which last year gifted huge salary increases to senior management now refuses any pay rise for rank and file staff," he said.

MBIE was in the firing line earlier this year over a number of questionable spending decisions.

It spent $140,000 on an information screen for the reception area of its Wellington headquarters and $70,000 for a sign outside the building.

The ministry was also criticised for installing hair straighteners in changing rooms.