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Striking workers proud of mill’s record production

Striking workers proud of mill’s record production

Striking workers at the Kinleith pulp and paper mill aren’t surprised by today’s announcement of record production last year.

It only goes to prove, they say, that changes the company is trying to force through are unnecessary.

The mill made 532,000 tonnes of paper last year.

“These people have proved their worth by producing a record amount of pulp and paper,” said union advocate Mike Sweeney, “and the company wants to reward them by ripping apart their wages and conditions.”

The strike by 270 production and stores workers at the Tokoroa mill is into its fourth day, with no sign of settlement.

“We have been negotiating with this company for two years in an attempt to renew the collective agreement,” Mr Sweeney said.

“This union negotiates 1500 agreements at year. Most are settled in two days. The bad ones take five days. This is right off the planet.”

A major sticking point is the company’s wish to be able to promote and demote workers at will. Workers want the existing system, where they know what skills they have to achieve in order to be promoted, retained.

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