March 16, 2004
Metals dispute is political - union
New Zealand’s largest union says that employers in the manufacturing sector are being used as pawns in political battle.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that was the only conclusion that could be drawn from employers’ reluctance to settle the key Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement.
The union will tomorrow begin a series of major stopwork meetings for more than 2500 members to discuss their options in the wake of the collapse of talks in the Metals agreement.
“For 12 years, we’ve been able to settle the Metals in a straightforward way,” Mr Little said.
“All we are asking for this year is a fair pay rise, a health and safety clause that brings the agreement in line with the law, and the right not to have to get a medical certificate if you’re sick for one day.
“These are very modest claims, yet the employers are refusing to settle, and you have to ask why.”
Note: Tomorrow’s stopwork meeting will begin at 10am in the Delightful Lady Lounge at Alexandra Park Raceway in Auckland, and will involve hundreds of workers from across Auckland.
Other major meetings will be at 11am on Thursday at the Kentucky Lounge, Waikato Racing Club, Hamilton, and at 10am on Friday in the Lindores Room at the Addington Raceway in Christchurch. Media are welcome to cover these meetings.
In other parts of the country,
meetings are being held site by