July 24, 2002
Workers call for Labour
Hundreds of workers are urging New Zealanders to vote two ticks labour.
Up to 500 mill and forestry workers gathered in Tokoroa today to question Labour politicians on issues including health and safety at work, education and a fourth week’s holiday.
Meeting organiser Megan Jones’Mamanu, of the EPMU, said that attendees spontaneously voted at the end of the meeting to urge fellow workers to vote for Labour in Saturday’s election.
“The resolution ‘two ticks Labour’ came off the floor and was supported overwhelmingly,” she said.
The workers were from 10 mill and forestry sites around Tokoroa. The two-hour meeting, at the Timberlands conference centre in Tokoroa, was an official paid stopwork meeting. Speakers included Labour Minister Margaret Wilson, MPs Mark Burton, Stevie Chadwick and Tariana Turia, and candidate Louisa Wall.
Although there were no workers from Carter Holt Harvey’s Kinleith pulp and paper plant present, people at the meeting were keen to hear how Labour would deal with situations like the one at that mill where the company intends laying off nearly half the workforce and getting a contractor to do the mill’s maintenance.
“There were questions about what the Government is going to do to stop international employers coming in here and getting rid of our jobs, and about how soon legislation on the transfer of undertakings will be passed,” Ms Jones’Mamanu said.