Solidarity Strong At Colgate-Palmolive Picket
Solidarity Strong At Colgate-Palmolive Picket Today
by 176 Multi-Media Collective
Over 60 union workers from the National Distribution Union and Engineering, Printing & Manufacturing Union were on strike for a 5% wage increase outside the Colgate-Palmolive factory in Petone today. There were joined by over 30 supporters from other unions and groups.
Community support was high on the lively picket with cars, trains, buses and bicyclists all showing strong support. As union workplace delegate Andy Ward said "Support from the Hutt Valley has been unanimous because it's a place where a lot of workers and like minded industries are".
There has never been industrial action at the site before over its 50-year history. As Ward stated "This is part of an ongoing process over the years as wages have got less. During negotiations we've often backed down to keep the peace in the workplace, knowing that the profits have been high."
Colgate-Palmolive's brands are household names like Ajax, Cold Power, Dynamo and Palmolive dishwashing liquid. The company itself according to its 2004 annual report is worth over 10.6 billion dollars (US).
The workers in Petone have been a part of creating this wealth, as Ward concluded "There are less people on the factory floor and they have better productivity from their machinery and people which makes more profits for the parent company in New York. We want our fair share. And this is unanimous from people who have been in the company from 5 to 25 years."
The EPMU are calling on people to show your support by calling Colgate's toll-free Consumer Information Service on 0800 441 741 between 9am and 7pm.
This picket is part of a nationwide push by the EPMU and other unions to improve wages by at least 5% for all New Zealand workers. You can find out more here www.epmu.org.nz.