October 18, 2005
All they want for Christmas is a five per cent pay rise – and they’re taking to the streets to say so.
Nine workers from the tiny, Fairfax-owned Kapiti Observer in Paraparaumu are on strike and picketing outside their office near the Coastlands shopping centre – dressed in Santa suits.
It’s their seventh strike since July, and they are angry that their employer doesn’t seem to be getting the message.
“Fairfax is a huge, wealthy company,” said Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little.
“Last year it made a profit of $285.18 million. A five per cent pay rise for nine workers at the Kapiti Observer isn’t going to break the bank.”
The company has offered the workers a 3.5 per cent pay rise and a $600 one-off payment this year, with another three per cent rise next year, with no back dating to the expiry of the old agreement on June 30.
Mr Little said that the workers were keen to return to talks, but only if the company was going to make a realistic offer.
The Kapiti Observer is part of Fairfax’s Capital Community Newspapers. Mr Little said that workers at other newspapers in the group – the Wellingtonian, the Kapi-Mana News, the Hutt News and the Upper Hutt Leader - had also voted for industrial action.