More Wellington workers take up cross-union soccer
AN INCREASING number of Wellington union workers are spending their lunch times playing soccer together.
Strikeforce soccer team is made up of trade union workers, who emerge from CBD offices on Monday afternoons, wearing bright red t-shirts.
Interest in the team is increasing says CTU communications and campaigns advisor Georgina McLeod, who previously played in work teams and enjoyed the atmosphere and break it provided from the office.
“The more people hear about it, the more it keeps growing,” she says.
The team is made up of representatives from at least eight different unions, in both public and private sectors, and includes a wide age and skills range.
“There are about twelve of us, but five play at any given time.
“We play for fitness and fun, and to get out of the office”, says Ms McLeod.
Strikeforce team member and PPTA advisory officer Tom Haig says the union team is a fun way to connect with other workers.
“It’s all good-natured fun but it’s a shame we haven’t been defending workers’ rights on the pitch as well as we do in the workplace,” he says.
Strikeforce plays in a lunchtime league at Wellington Indoor Sports, located on Queen’s Wharf.
Teams from various workplaces, such as Telecom, also take part in the soccer league.
The sports stadium is a popular place for CBD workers to burn off some energy in their lunch break.
Kevin Martin from Wellington Indoor Sports says workers have been coming to play at the facility for more than five years.
“I think it’s just a good place to get away from their offices and release some frustration,” he says.
Ms McLeod says it is important for the workers of different unions to make connections.
Strikeforce includes representatives from NZNO, PSA, PPTA and First Union, among others.
The idea came about after some colleagues at the Council of Trade Unions were talking about how beneficial cross-union activity would be, she says.
“I think playing together is great. The thing is, we’re all working for the cause but we don’t always get to network.
“Actually, we found ourselves [Strikeforce] hanging out together at the Unions Wellington Christmas drinks party, which was nice.”
Ms McLeod says it’s great to meet fellow union workers in a social arena and the team plans to continue playing together next year.