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Unions launch Centre for High Performance Work

June 25, 2008
Media Release

Unions launch Centre for High Performance Work

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and the New Zealand Dairy Workers Union this morning announced a major initiative to build high performance workplaces and boost New Zealand wages with the launch of the Centre for High Performance Work.

The Centre is a joint venture between the two unions that will work with New Zealand businesses to develop work practices that lead to increased productivity and business growth by integrating workers' shop floor knowledge into day-to-day production decisions.

Its advisory board includes Craig Norgate, Professor Nigel Haworth and Print NZ CEO Joan Grace.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the Centre shows unions are taking the productivity challenge seriously.

“The Centre for High Performance Work is about bringing together the joint knowledge and experiences of the EPMU and DWU along with known workplace productivity techniques, and making them accessible to employers, particularly those in small to medium-sized businesses.”

“What makes our approach different is we are unashamedly worker-centred, because too many productivity initiatives have failed due to lack of buy-in from the workforce. We see giving workers an effective voice and a stake in the process as key to improving the value of the work we do.

“High performance work and true productivity gains can’t happen without the stability of a constructive relationship between employers and workers, and that means a solid framework of work rights like unfair dismissal protections, EREL training and decent collective bargaining rights to provide security for the workforce.”

Speakers at the launch included EPMU national secretary Andrew Little, Minister of Labour Trevor Mallard, DWU national secretary James Ritchie, Business New Zealand chief executive Phil O’Reilly and Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly.

More information about the Centre for High Performance Work can be found at


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