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100s of Union Delegates Gather for PM Meeting

MEDIA RELEASE

21 April 2004
The forum is not open to the media. Ross Wilson will be available for comment after 8pm.

Hundreds of Union Delegates
Gather for Meeting with PM

The Prime Minster and other senior Government figures are this evening hearing first-hand the concerns of more than 300 union delegates in a major cross-union gathering in Auckland.

Representatives from most of the CTU’s 34 affiliated unions are meeting with Prime Minister Helen Clark, as well as Paul Swain, Ruth Dyson, Parekura Horomia, David Cunliffe and Progressive Coalition party leader Jim Anderton.

“The forum is an opportunity for the Prime Minister and other MPs to talk directly to union members about issues affecting workers – not only in the workplace but also their wider concerns about the economy and society,” said Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson.

The meeting will break into workshop groups which will discuss specific topics with the relevant government spokesperson. The workshops will be on the areas of employment relations; work-life balance and pay equity; economy, Budget priorities and low income workers; the Treaty and race relations; and state sector and quality public services.

Ross Wilson said it was important for political leaders to engage with workers about strategies for economic growth which required a highly skilled and motivated workforce.

“The recent Growth and Innovation Advisory Board survey shows that New Zealanders support an inclusive approach to economic growth, and that growth needs to include fairness and social development,” Ross Wilson said.

“This forum is an opportunity for the Government and unions to talk about how that can be achieved.”

ENDS

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