Some MIQ hotel workers are considering a strike after learning their $80 weekly allowances will be gone by the end of June.
Unite Union said workers were appalled nobody in the Government told them about the detailed wind-down of MIQ before they read of it in today's Herald.
The head of MIQ today said a trade union coalition was kept abreast of developments.
The end of managed isolation meant some workers will go from having a living wage back to about minimum wage, Unite national secretary John Crocker said today.
Negotiations were happening but a strike was being seriously considered, the union said.
Only four out of 32 hotels will stay in the MIQ network from the end of June.
Rydges in downtown Auckland will be out even sooner, ending its MIQ stint on April 30.
Unite lead hotel organiser Shanna Reeder said everybody knew MIQ would likely be wound up sometime this year.
But she said officials gave no further details before an embargoed press release was sent from Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins' office last night.
"They certainly hadn't been given a date."
She said hundreds of hotel workers had been getting allowances from about $80 a week for working in MIQ hotels.
Those allowances would go when managed isolation ended, Reeder said.
"Just in one hotel, there might be 100 workers."
These staff included housekeepers, chefs and kitchen hands.
"They would have appreciated a heads-up. It's not a complete surprise. I just would have expected their employer to tell them this information, not to find it out from a newspaper."
Reeder said she met last Tuesday with MIQ representatives, who were asked about MIQ closure timelines or details, and who did not provide answers.
Head of MIQ Chris Bunny said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment contacted the Council of Trade Unions last week.
Bunny said Unite was a CTU member and the contact was to update unions on the likely announcement this week.
He said the ministry also contacted the Public Service Association to advise it ahead of the announcement.
"The Government's announcement today gives us the certainty to commence negotiations with our partners to consolidate and plan for the future," Bunny added.
"We will now start having discussions with the facilities and our workforce about their futures. Some facilities are still required for certain groups in the next few months."
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a lapel pin award that will recognise people who contributed to the Covid-19 response.
The first award recipients will be MIQ staff.
Reeder said the timing of the award announcement seemed odd when low-wage workers were about to lose MIQ allowances.
"The Government putting the news out there and saying it's all fine because you get a badge....that's hurting a little bit for people. It's not going far as a sweetener."