20 February 2006
Work stoppages figures not over the top says CTU
"Last year's work stoppages were caused in many respects by employers being unrealistic about the union movement's 5% wage campaign," said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions President.
He was commenting on Work Stopages data to the September 2005 quarter, released last month by Statistics New Zealand.
"Many unions campaigned last year for a minimum 5% increase for their workers, as part of the '5% in 05' campaign led by the EPMU and other unions," said Ross Wilson. "While industrial action was the result in some wage negotiations, a number of employers recognised that a 5% increase, while CPI was running at over 3%, was a reasonable claim and settled with unions quickly."
"Despite the claims today by the Employers and Manufacturers Association (Northern), these figures are still low historically, as compared with stoppages under the Employment Contracts Act in the 1990s."
"Businesses have enjoyed high levels of profitability over several years," said Ross Wilson. "As we enter a new year with many more workers entering collective bargaining, we are calling on employers to get real in negotiations and recognise it's long overdue that workers had their fair share of these profits."