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Progressive Pleased With Court Ruling

News release
September 4, 2006

Progressive Pleased With Court Ruling
Relief for staff, suppliers and shoppers

Progressive Enterprises managing director Marty Hamnett says the company feels vindicated by today’s Employment Court ruling.

“The court has ruled in our favour and this is a very important outcome in ensuring the security of our 18,000 plus staff and their families, our suppliers’ businesses and their staff.

“The court’s decision enables our suppliers to continue supplying grocery products to all our stores and comes as a relief to all shoppers in New Zealand.”

Mr Hamnett says the company is trying extremely hard to keep stock levels high but it is a logistical challenge.

“Our suppliers have been very supportive and are rallying to deliver grocery products direct to stores. Frankly, it feels like we are being held to ransom, but I am happy our contingency plans are beginning to see stock flow through to stores.”

Mr Hamnett says the union’s demands continue to be a major stumbling block.

“We believe the union has not considered the impact of its unrealistic demands for an effective 30 percent increase in employment costs. Those actions will have severe downstream effects on their members, our staff and their families, some 500 local suppliers, not to mention the 2.5 million customers who shop in our supermarkets every week.

“If the unions were to drop their demands for a single national agreement our team members could return to work and negotiations could commence to achieve a fair and reasonable outcome for all parties.”

“The three single site collective agreements have been in place for many years and have been settled every year with their union. One has to ask if the union’s executive is out of touch with reality and I question its commitment to a practical way forward.

Today has been a good outcome for all New Zealanders and we look forward to reaching an agreement with the unions as soon as possible with a fair, reasonable and sustainable settlement.

ends

Issued for progressive Enterprises Ltd by Pead PR

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