October 6, 2005
Hikoi by striking CHH workers
Around 100 striking workers from the Carter Holt Harvey laminated veneer lumber plant in Whangarei are on a hikoi to take their message to their boss.
The workers left the Marsden Pt plant at 8am this morning on the 170 kilometre-journey to Auckland, to visit the Carter Holt Harvey head office.
They are walking from the plant to State Highway 1, where they will board a bus for the journey south. They will walk through all the towns on the way to Auckland, and will spend the night at the Orakei marae. Tomorrow, they will march from the CHH Paperbag Division plant in Penrose to the CHH head office in Great South Rd.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the workers wanted to make sure that company executives understood their position.
“These workers have been on strike for nearly two weeks in support of a very reasonable pay claim,” he said.
“They are seeking a five per cent pay rise, plus shift and meal allowances, but have been offered a pay rise of only three per cent.”
Mr Little said that the company had rejected the union’s offers to return to negotiations.
About 100 striking workers have stayed in Whangarei to maintain a picket-line outside the plant.
Mr Little said that the picket had been orderly and controlled, and respected by other workers.
“We especially want to thank the truck drivers who have chosen not to cross the picket-line,” he said.
The LVL plant strike is part of a national campaign to win “five-plus” wage rises at CHH plants. Other unions involved in the campaign are the National Distribution Union and the Amalgamated Workers Union.