Union slams Vodafone pay freeze

Union slams Vodafone pay freeze

The Unite union says some of Vodafone's lowest-paid call centre workers in Auckland have been asked to go three years without a pay rise and it plans to "shame" the company.

Mike Treen, national director of the service-sector union, accused Vodafone of being a bad employer after refusing a rise for most of its "most vulnerable employees" for a second year. About 50 of Vodafone's 405 call centre staff belong to the union.

"Prime Minister John Key has challenged us to name and shame bad employers and Vodafone fits the bill," Treen says.

"This foreign-owned company's commitment to making large profits far outweighs its commitment to its workforce."

Vodafone posted a profit of $177.7 million in the year to March 2009, down 7.2 per cent.

Vodafone spokesman Paul Brislen says the company offered a competitive package. Its call centre staff started on between $37,000 and $47,000.

Their benefits include four weeks' holiday, free health and life insurance, free cellphones with calls paid for, 4 percent superannuation contributions and a day off on their birthdays. They were also entitled to 10 days sick leave.

Staff received an annual bonus which went up as Vodafone "did better in the market", he said

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