Strikers take legal action against ANZ

16:00, Oct 10 2014

Striking ANZ workers have filed legal action against the bank and more strikes could soon follow, a union representative says.

ANZ Bank staff went on strike across the country yesterday, as Wellington workers demanded the bank's $4.1 million boss David Hisco stop "ratting" on them with an "unwarranted and outrageous" attack on their conditions.

First Union retail and finance secretary Maxine Gay said legal action against ANZ had been filed with the Employment Relations Authority relating to an offer the bank made to non-union members.

Gay said the union was looking to file more action this afternoon "based around the bank's behaviour".

"We've issued legal proceedings because the bank has started some rather underhanded tactics," Gay said.

First Union general secretary Robert Reid said there were striking ANZ workers in both Dunedin and Christchurch, with dozens from both centres out on the strike line, though not trying to disrupt customers.

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The union represents nearly 20 per cent of ANZ's more than 8000 staff.

Tellers and processing workers from the Hutt Valley, Porirua, Levin and Wellington went on strike, protesting against a new collective employment agreement which was unanimously rejected by union members.

Gay said about half of the 600 workers in ANZ's Wellington call centre had taken 24 hours off work.

A group of about 80 union members and supporters marched from their offices in Tory Street to ANZ's head office in Victoria Street, where a giant inflatable rat was erected in view of chief executive David Hisco's office.

About 100 disgruntled ANZ staff and union representatives also marched in Auckland, while at least 25 from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty went on strike as well.

Pickets, rallies and marches were also organised in Palmerston North, Christchurch, Oamaru and Dunedin.

Last year, Hisco earned a A$3.26m remuneration package, equal to NZ$4.1m at the time, making him the country's highest-paid executive.

The bank's workers are being offered annual pay rises of 2 to 3 per cent over the next two years, depending on where they work and when they joined the company.

ANZ, the country's biggest bank, is also including a flexible work clause which gives staff four weeks' notice of their shifts, with no guarantee hours would be spread evenly.

The Press