October 15, 2004
Plastics workers to vote on strike
Workers at a major New Zealand plastics company will next week vote on whether to take strike action after negotiations for their collective employment agreement broke down today.
Two hundred and fifty workers at the listed company Vertex Pacific plants in Hamilton, Auckland, Hastings and Wellington will hold stopwork meetings on Monday and Tuesday to discuss the action.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the company’s offer, of a three per cent wage rise this year and a two per cent wage rise next year, wasn’t good enough.
“The workers want three per cent each year,” he said.
“It’s a reasonable expectation when you take all the factors into consideration.”
The workers also want more annual sick leave. They currently get five days’ a year, while their bosses get 10 days a year.
Mr Little said the workers would settle for seven days this year and eight days next year.
“These are very modest claims, and we view it very seriously when a large and important company like Vertex Pacific is so aggressive in its treatment of staff.”
Vertex Pacific makes a variety of plastics products, including industrial mouldings, ice cream contrainers and recycling bins.