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Kinleith update

Kinleith update

The dispute at the Kinleith pulp and paper mill which led to 270 production and stores workers walking off the job indefinitely last Friday continues today.

A team headed by union advocate Mike Sweeney (the EPMU’s Auckland regional secretary) will meet company representatives on the site at 1.30pm today.

The striking workers are in good heart and firm in their resolve to see an end to the dispute which has delayed the settling of a new collective employment agreement for nearly two years. The old agreement expired on March 31, 2001.

The workers are concerned over a desire by the company to be able to promote and demote workers at will, without a fair and transparent process. They also object to plans to make production workers fight fires. The union views this as a serious health and safety issue.

Production at the mill has stopped, and the company is using the down-time for unplanned maintenance.

Latest reports from the United States show that prices for northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK), the type of pulp produced at Kinleith, are surging.

A further update will be issued this afternoon if there are any developments from the meeting with the company.

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