Being fired for union membership is disgraceful - CTU

The story today that Vice President of Equity Todd Rippon was dismissed by a Lord of the Rings tour guide for being a union official in the union Actors Equity, is something the Prime Minister, including in his capacity as Tourism Minister, needs to take responsibility for, CTU President Helen Kelly said.

"Not only has John Key personally made it clear to employers in the entertainment industry that the Government will back them to undermine the rights of workers to join unions but he and his Ministers have made such derogatory and misleading statements about this union in particular, that the industry and those associated with it, appear to feel free to bully anyone that has a different point of view."

Helen Kelly, CTU President says that losing your job for being a union member is illegal and unfair, and she is deeply concerned at the involvement of Positively Wellington in the process.

"The Prime Minister as Minister of Tourism needs to investigate this and assure New Zealand workers that he does not support this type of discrimination in the industry and contrary to this employers view, his Department will act fairly in relation to its procurement and not discriminate against companies that have union officials on their staff."

Helen Kelly said "no union member should be persecuted for belonging to a union and we are supporting Todd, alongside Actors Equity, in taking this personal grievance. What happened to Todd is very unfair and could have an alarming effect on any performer or other worker that is considering taking a role in this, or any other union, unless the Government takes a stand. We want this matter resolved fairly."

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