For immediate release 08/08/2018
Lockout on quarry workers in Northland lifted – donations flood in
A lockout proposed to last until August 12 on quarry workers in the Brynderwyn Hills has been lifted.
The owner-operator was demanding workers agree to the deal on the table, a deal which is lower than the Living Wage. The workers have subsequently decided to continue strike and picket action on State Highway One until a better deal is offered.
Community support has ramped up and donations have flooded into atlaslockout.com to support the workers who, while the dispute is on, are not receiving any pay. Locals are dropping off everything from cookies, lamb chops and rice to support the workers’ action, there’s even talk of a local band joining the picket line. Some of the workers have received job offers from businesses outside of Atlas. One local business owner saw the picket, stopped and hired one of the men on the spot.
FIRST Union Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing Division Secretary Jared Abbott says despite the lockout being lifted there’s still no new offer and the current offer to settle the collective is well below market rate.
“We were told hours ago that the lockout has been lifted but workers feel they’ve come a long way and won’t back out now. They’re frustrated, the offer is laughable and the owner’s not budging so they’re taking a stand.”
Mr Abbott says the community recognises the value in the workers and it’s time the owner did too.
“The company is thriving, yet these guys are still on two to three dollars less than competitors’ employees, they need a reality check.”
The company is set to meet with the Union and workers on Monday.