Unite tackles wage theft in New Zealand luxury hotels
IUF affiliate Unite Union has been uncovering questionable dealings in some of New Zealand’s most luxurious hotels and assisting workers to confront the problem. For the past four years, Unite has been investigating the way a number of well-known hotel brands make use of a practice known as the “credit system”. This tells workers how much time they have to clean a room, giving “credits” for the number of minutes supposedly spent cleaning each room. Their timesheets based on these theoretical credits do not reflect their real finish time and the time spent cleaning the rooms, so they’re not paid for all the hours they work.
Unite believes the hotels using this practice are breaking the law. Where the union has challenged the practice it has won, in some cases bringing workers compensation for hours worked but not paid. The union has been working to educate workers – who are encouraged to believe the practice is legal – to recognize and to challenge the practice.