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Striking workers suspended in MTV fumble

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An organiser for E Tu union says Maori Television has taken a short-sighted approach to a strike.

About 30 union members downed tools and picketed the channel’s south Auckland headquarters yesterday to push for a collective contract.

They’re upset MTV management has been crying poor over the past 10 months while giving non-union members bonuses and wage rises.

Joe Gallagher says the two sides are fairly close, but instead of sitting down and trying to close the gap management released a media statement attacking the union.

It also issued suspension notices to the workers for the duration of the strike.

"In essence that’s meaningless because everyone knew that they were going to lose a day's pay and we're on strike so really they should have saved the money spent on a lawyer to get that advice and put that into the pot because suspending people on strike is just a money making exercise for lawyers," he says.

Mr Gallagher says management won’t talk this week because they are in a strategy meeting, so it’s likely to be next week before negotiations can resume.


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