November 30, 2007
Atlas workers strike over leave
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members at Atlas Specialty Engineering walked off the job indefinitely this morning after the company refused to retain their service leave.
The twenty two members are currently picketing outside the company’s Neilson Street site in Onehunga and are determined to continue their campaign of industrial action until Atlas makes them a fair offer.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the strike action highlights how significant an issue recognition of experience is.
“This action follows right on the heels of the strike at Scott Automation down south and in both situations the issue is the failure of the employers to recognise and reward the gains they make though retaining experienced workers.
“New Zealand is facing a serious skills shortage and that means employers need to retain their experienced staff for their own sakes and to keep enough skills in New Zealand to ensure we can make the shift to become a high skill, high wage economy. The kind of attitude we’re seeing from Atlas and Scott isn’t productive and wilfully ignores the reality of our labour market.”
The Atlas workers have previously had an extra week’s annual leave after six years of service.