August 25, 2005
Waikato Times journos strike
Waikato Times journalists are on strike over their employer’s refusal to agree to five per cent across-the-board pay increase.
About 20 walked off the job early this morning and are picketing the paper’s Te Rapa office.
It is the fifth Fairfax newspaper to be hit by strikes this week. On Monday, staff at the Hutt News, Upper Hutt Leader and Kapi-Mana News struck, with workers at the Kapiti Observer striking yesterday.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that workers at all five papers were seeking a five per cent pay rise.
“They believe that is fair in the current environment, – especially when you consider how well Fairfax is doing in New Zealand,” he said.
“Statistics show that most people are getting five per cent pay rises this year, and these workers believe that they deserve it too.
Mr Little said that the Waikato Times was offering a higher increase than was on offer at the other papers, but it wasn’t good enough to settle the agreement. “The Waikato Times has made the best offer from a Fairfax paper so far, more than five per cent for lower-graded reporters, but only 3.5 per cent for more senior staff, with a rough average of 4.24 per cent.”
Workers at the other four papers have been offered 3.2 per cent.
Meanwhile, workers at APN’s Hawke’s Bay Today and Wanganui Chronicle newspapers were on strike yesterday, and the pay dispute at Radio New Zealand continues. All are seeking a five per cent pay rise.