March 29, 2004
Key Metals agreement is settled
The key Metals agreement is settled.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little today said that an offer of a 2.9 per cent pay rise had been ratified by workers in a series of meetings last week.
The Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement is the country’s largest private-sector industrial document, representing some 2500 workers at more than 220 companies directly, and many thousands more indirectly. It is recognised as setting the benchmark for wages and conditions across the manufacturing sector.
Bargaining to renew the agreement began on February 24 and broke down two days later, with employers offering a 2.5 per cent pay rise and workers seeking a 3.5 per cent pay rise.
Workers then held a series of site-by-site stopwork meetings, culminating in a mass stopwork in Auckland on March 17.
Mr Little said that the improved offer, made on March 19, better reflected the true rise in the cost of living for workers.
A large majority of workers in the 43 “original party” companies involved in the negotiations had voted to accept the offer, on the union’s recommendation, he said.
Other companies, known as the subsequent parties, would now be signed into the agreement, Mr Little said.
There are no other changes to the agreement.