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Call for Manukau to Support Locked Out Workers

7th September 2006
For immediate release

Press Statement:

Councillor: Calls Manukau to Support Locked Out Workers

Manukau City Councillor, Su’a William Sio, is calling on the Manukau community to support the local workers who have been locked out by the Progressive Enterprises plant on Favona Rd, Mangere.

“I am appealing to all our local communities to support the striking workers,” says Councillor Sio. “This is a fight for the right to have a collective employment agreement for these workers. It is a fight to have a multi-billion dollar company pay a proper living wage for these workers. It is a fight to get the owners (who is Woolworths Austrlia) of Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths to respect these workers.”

“This is a fight between ordinary hard working people and the mean- spirited stance by a billion dollar multinational giant, and these workers need their community to help them.”

“I appeal to all people to provide what support you can to boost the morale and confidence of these workers.”

“These workers are honest, hard working mums and dads, whose children are attending our local schools, who provide support to our churches, our local sports clubs, and live & contribute to our local communities.”

Councillor Sio is supporting the call by the National Distribution Union for people to donate money to the National Distribution Union.

The NDU Secretary Laila Harre is also asking the local community to boycott Countdown, Foodtown and Woolworths until there is a settlement to this dispute.

“I am hopeful that Progressive Enterprise will reconsider their militant stance and look at building a robust working relationships with these workers and their union representatives, otherwise this company will be responsible for some families with empty food cupboards, eviction notices and possible unpaid phone & power bills, “ says Councillor Sio. “I’m sure that this company doesn’t want to ruin the livelihoods of many of these families.”


Other information:

- Councillor Sio spoke on radio 531pi calling on people to support these workers that this was a classic case of a “David & Goliath” battle.

- Councillor Sio also met and spoke to the workers on Saturday 26th August and encourage them to stand together. After he said, “I know many of these workers because they live and serve our local communities in many capacities. I see them in churches and in our shopping centres and at kilikiti games.”

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