New Zealand
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Bankflation: The Big Four Banks Are Worsening The Cost Of Living Crisis


WHAT: ActionStation and FIRST Union are launching a campaign to deal with the issue of ‘Bankflation’, alongside the release of a short briefing paper into the matter. There will be a mobile billboard posted at Takutai Square. Bank workers will be joining the public launch of the ‘Stop Bankflation!’ campaign, which highlights bank profits during the cost-of-living crisis.

WHY: The briefing document explains the key information on bankflation and its impact on workers and customers.

"The cumulative profits of the Big Four banks have increased 80 percent in the last decade. Over that period, average annual profit increases have been running at triple the rate of the wage increases negotiated in collective agreements," said Edward Miller, FIRST Union Researcher and Policy Analyst.

"As workers grapple with a cost-of-living crisis, NZ banks’ net interest margins - the difference between lending and borrowing rates - have risen to a 17-year high, generating superprofits for offshore shareholders."

"While political parties quibble over government spending, the Big Four banks are quietly raking in mega profits off the backs of their own staff and customers. They appear to be benefitting from our primary policy response to quell inflation, sustaining the cost of living crisis. Their profits are literally our crisis, and there are still no solid solutions in sight," said Kassie Hartendorp, Executive Director of ActionStation Aotearoa.

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Putting Workers First

FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.

Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000 workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.

FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's only private sector union.

Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.