September 26, 2005
CHH strikers hold protests
Striking workers from the Carter Holt Harvey LVL (laminated veneer lumber) plant at Marsden Pt, Whangarei, are holding demonstrations around the region this morning.
Some 200 workers walked off the job on Friday in protest over the company’s failure to settle their collective employment agreement, and say they won’t return to work before this Friday.
This morning they are holding protests at Carter Holt Harvey sites in Whangarei, Marsden Point and Dargaville.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that workers were seeking a five per cent pay rise, plus shift and meal allowances.
“The company’s offer of a three per cent pay rise doesn’t even keep up with inflation,” he said.
“Like workers all over the country, these people deserve a decent pay rise. Until Carter Holt Harvey realises that, it is going to continue facing disruption.”
Three unions – the EPMU, the National Distribution Union and the Amalgamated Workers Union – are running a national campaign for a “five-plus” pay rise for Carter Holt Harvey Workers.
Last week, CHH workers up and down the country voted to set up strike funds to support the campaign.
The only CHH site agreement settled so far is the Paperbag Division agreement in Auckland, which settled on Thursday with a five per cent rise now and another 3.5 per cent in 15 months for a two-year agreement. The settlement was well above the 1.5 per cent rise originally offered by the company, and followed some industrial action by workers.
Today’s protests will run from 8.30am to 1pm at:
Whangarei: Outside the CHH Forests building in Rust
Outside the Carters retail store in Commerce St.
Dargaville: Outside the Carters retail store in Normandy St.
Ruakaka At the front gate of the LVL plant at
At the Marsden Pt turn-off on State Highway 1.