Around 70 Manpower call centre workers have had their contracts end two weeks before Christmas. Most of the workers were made to sign contracts by Work and Income under the threat of sanctions.
“These are workers with children who will be struggling during Christmas because Work and Income placed them in precarious and insecure work,” says AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole.
“The workers had been hired by Manpower, but were working for Concentrix in Mt Albert and doing call work for Spark.
“While working under Manpower, many of the workers were treated poorly and not paid properly. One mother of 6 was told her contract ended because she took time off for her sick children.
“Manpower, Concentrix and Spark are all profitting from poverty through using Work and Income as a source of exploitable labour.
“After AAAP occupied the Manpower offices to protest the use of illegal contracts, Manpower defended their reputation. Work and Income were silent on their role.
“Most of these workers were made to sign up to Manpower in their Work and Income offices all over Auckland and were threatened with sanctions if they did not sign the contract.
“Work and Income are not helping people into employment, they are forcing people into exploitation.
“The workers were told by Manpower that in order to get their holiday pay they must leave Manpower. This would entail a 13 week stand down from Work and Income.
“When these casual contracts end, many people in this situation are forced to reapply for the benefit having only been employed for a short time.
“MSD have promised AAAP that there will be no 1 week or 13 week stand down applied for these workers.
“The work-focussed policy of MSD is supposed to place people into secure employment. Instead people are being forced into a poverty trap.
“First Union are dealing with the employment issues facing this group and AAAP are taking them into Work and Income today to ensure they get their full entitlements."