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New Zealand Casino Workers Gather

27 September 2004

NEW ZEALAND – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Today, Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU) delegates from casinos around New Zealand gathered in Auckland for the first day of a two-day conference.

Over 50 delegates from New Zealand and Australia will spend the two days discussing issues for NZ casino workers and developing strategies for organising in the casino industry.

Attendees at the conference will discuss issues such as 'union busting' by employers, escalating action during bargaining, dealing with 'free-loaders' and 'union-only' agreements with employers.

NZ delegates will also learn from the experiences of the Australian Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) delegates and organisers who are attending the conference and presenting workshops. LHMU is the union for Australian casino workers, and includes members at Sky City's Adelaide casino.

SFWU National Secretary Darien Fenton said, "This is a great opportunity for our members to get together and learn from each other. Casinos in New Zealand make huge profits, while the workers suffer the front-line stresses of a high pressure, 24-hour, casualised industry."

"We have learned a lot recently from organising successes in Auckland and Dunedin so to build on that delegates will be making plans to increase SFWU activity in the casino industry nationwide."

Workshops being held tomorrow will determine the SFWUs' strategy for national casino organising over the next period.

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