April 19, 2002
Christchurch workers locked out by American cablemaking company GeneralCable are celebrating victory after reaching a settlement with their employer today.
More than 250 workers at the Riccarton plant were locked out for nearly two weeks after rejecting the company’s pay offer of two percent.
This afternoon they voted to accept a new offer, which they described as a victory for organised labour.
“The company wanted to hold all future pay rises to the rate of inflation,” said union negotiator Bernard McIlhone.
“The workers stood together in their demand for better, despite the company’s attempt to break them by locking them out and denying them an income for nearly two weeks. If anything, their spirit and commitment were strengthened by the company’s actions.”
The new agreement is an 18-month settlement. Workers will get a pay rise of 2.75 per cent now and another 1.25 per cent in nine months’ time. The workers have also won a one-off payment of $80,000 to share among themselves.
They will return to work tomorrow.