(CWC) is a new worker support initiative set up by Pamela Grealey and Benjamin Rudolph. The aim of this new initiative is to provide workplace advocacy for all workers across the Coromandel Peninsula, from Whangamata to north Colville. We recognised a need for worker representation on the Coromandel Peninsula as there is a significant number of low-waged, part-time/ flexible and people deemed contractors by their employers working in conditions that can for the most part be considered inequitable. These inequitable working conditions are not always deliberate and with this in mind we are also looking to work with small and large business owners to ensure that they are meeting all of their obligations as employers.
On the first Friday of each month the CWC holds a clinic to provide support and information sessions to workers with questions about their employment conditions and contract terms. These clinics have highlighted a sad truth, that not all workers are aware of their rights or pay entitlements. Our clinics are also joined by a worker advocate from One Union, who we are affiliated to. This enables us to offer workers across the peninsula a representative in their workplace without having to pay union fees or dues. No appointment is necessary if you would like to come and speak with us on one of our clinic days. If you wish to get in touch with us before our clinic, please send us a message through our Facebook page or the contact page of our website www.cwc.org.nz.
With talk of a recession looming, we believe that there will be even more need to advocate for workers, many of whom have to work multiple part-time jobs just to survive. Many businesses will begin to face challenges that place even more uncertainty on those jobs where the worker will ultimately be left feeling desperate and fortunate just to have a job, that they will put themselves in a position where they are are willing to forgo a basic expectation of being treated fairly in the workplace. Employers, as I have already mentioned, do not always intend to create an unfair workplace. Sadly though this doesn’t always prevent it from happening. With this in mind we are also keen to reach out to employers to complete a high level overview of their workplace environment and practises to see what, if any, changes need to happen.