Links to media coverage of Aotearoa Tech Union and its campaigns are below:
TVNZ: ATU speaks to a One News story on misconduct allegations at Weta Workhops Thursday Sep 10 2020
ATU: Statement from the Aotearoa Tech Union (ATU) on March 16th 2020 on the COVID-19 pandemic, March 16th 2020, March 25th 2020, April 15th 2020
SH People's Politburo: Episode #17: There is Power in a Tech Union, January 27th, 2019
Access Granted: Vivian Chandra + co-founders - your tech union, December 13th, 2018
iStart: NZ tech sector gets unionised, November 20th, 2018
National Business Review: Analysis: Tech workers offered a collective future, November 8th, 2018
Scoop: New Zealand tech workers finally have collective voice, October 23rd, 2018
What we talk about
We've made a deliberate choice not to align ourselves with any specific political party or agenda. Our membership and our committee reflects a spread of backgrounds, interests and political preferences. We are accountable to our members first, and then by extension, to tech workers and the people, structures and world that supports them.
We choose to speak in support of other unions or groups of marginalised working people, both in and out of the tech sector. This is because it makes sense that we'd want the same thngs for any working people that we want for our own members:
- Fair and reasonable working conditions, including flexible working hours, meaningful leave coverage, and clear policies on overtime
- Career support, and unbiased information on salary and pay throughout their entire career
- A voice to government and media that represents their interests without fear of upsetting employers
- An advocate who can provide support if things go wrong
A lot of our members do cross-sector or cross-disciplinary work, so it makes sense that we would suport ties with workers in other sectors.
We acknowledge and thank our tangata whenua, who remain custodians of Aotearoa and whose rights under Te Tiriti o Waitangi we wholeheartedly support. We celebrate the amazing work done by Māori in tech from the very beginnings of this industry in Aotearoa, and we would love to do more to support and grow our Māori membership, as well as elevate Māori to leadership roles in this union to prove that we take our commitments seriously.
We love and support our many members who are not New Zealand citizens, and the efforts of migrant workers in Aotearoa and around the world. We believe you deserve a fair deal and a good working life here, and we want to help advocate for your rights.
We are always ready to make tech a better place for everyone to be their true selves. Our union is known as a safe and welcoming place for Rainbow communities and GLITTFAAB+ workers. At a member and committee level we represent a vibrant array of gender and sexual identities. Our membership also contains people with neurodiverse intelligence; this is a common experience for workers in tech, and we understand and advocate for the experiences of neurodiverse workers both in our member support actiivities, and from time to time in a more public sphere.
We acknowledge and thank the particular efforts of service, infrastructure, logistics, transport, telecommunications and other "front line" workers who make our industry and our line of work possible. We ofetn speak out in solidarity when these workers undertake industrial action or experience hard times.
We also thank and love our food and hospitality service, cleaning and hygiene, security and healthcare workers, both for their dedication during COVD and for the vital part they play in keeping Aotearoa going each day.
Many thanks to our colleagues and comrades in the financial, legal, government and education sector for their ongoing advice, help with research and collegial conversations.
Other causes we are interested in:
As a general rule, we support better pay transparency in all sectors and for all types of work. Disclosing pay details should be a consensual process: we understand that for some people there is a taboo on discussing pay, and we will work with our membership to find the best approach.
We support a Living Wage for all workers, especially essential service workers, because we think it's a decent thing to do.
We support any action that combats modern slavery or other breaches of workers' basic rights.
We support any action to abolish the illegal use of "dependent contracting", where workers are expected to hold the duties and responsibilities of an employee but not given the benefits of an employee.
We condemn the exploitation of unpaid interns and students: whenever an intern contributes to the bottom line of a business or organisation, they should be compensated for their time and effort.
We support efforts to improve the timeliness and accessibility of immigration processes in Aotearoa, and we support moving away from a visa system that bonds migrant workers to specific roles or employers.
We acknowledge the reality of climate crisis. We know that climate emergencies (storms, floods, drought) will disrupt the working lives of our members and all New Zealanders. We also acknowledge that the tech sector has a problem with e-waste and an inefficient supply chain. We will seek ways to offset the impact that our working life has on the whenua where we can. This includes managing our own union resources carefully.
We support better and more equitable access to the Internet and digital technology in Aotearoa.
We don't condemn any specific aspect of modern technology, as we often see the potential for innovation to do amazing things for our workers. However we will work with our members to take stances on its application.
In the case of blockchain technology, we are concerned about the environmental impact of cryptocurrency mining, the effect it has on cost of living and availability of computer parts, and the potential for tech workers who work in crypto to suffer wage theft.
Similarly, automation can give working people the benefit of more interesting jobs with less manual grind, but we don't condone companies who use the promise of automation to justify understaffing, overworking or constructively dismissing workers.
We support actions that combat breaches of personal privacy or blatant commercial misuse of personal data. We believe in robust digital security to support civic processes (like voting). Sometimes we will support actions that help combat misinformation and digital fraud - in specific cases we will discuss issues and actions with our members.