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Kinleith strike over – but problem continues

Kinleith strike over – but problem continues

Production workers at the Kinleith pulp and paper mill have returned to work after a two-day strike.

The 292 workers walked off the job for 48 hours at 4pm on Tuesday over their collective employment agreement.

They returned to work this afternoon, but say that the issue hasn’t gone away.

“We hope that this action has sent a message to the employer,” said EPMU Auckland regional secretary Mike Sweeney.

“They have returned to work, but they still want the employer to meet with them to resolve this problem.”

Mr Sweeney said that there had been a parallel process of consulting on restructuring options and bargaining for a new collective agreement. Some of the changes the company wanted in its structure required new terms of employment to be agreed.

“A number of production workers have been issued notice of changes to their work that the union believes cannot be implemented without the conclusion of bargaining,” he said.

“Unfortunately, company negotiators are holidaying while these changes are being rolled out. Workers find it unacceptable to be required to make changes in their roles without having concluded bargaining over the collective agreement.

“For them, it is a matter of urgency, which is why they felt compelled to take strike action to encourage the company to give them bargaining the priority it deserves,” Mr Sweeney said.

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