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Alliance says Delta should show some Xmas spirit

Fri, 17 Dec 2004

Alliance says Delta should show some Christmas spirit to its workers

The Alliance Party has offered its support to Delta Utilities workers in Dunedin and says they have every right to be protesting against poor treatment by their employer.

Alliance Party Dunedin Convener Victor Billot says the 1.75% pay increase offered to 22 local Delta staff was worthy of Ebenezer Scrooge.

"A pay rise beneath the rate of inflation is a pay cut, so Delta bosses should lead by example and give themselves a pay cut too ­ but don't hold your breath."

The workers, who are members of the Southern Local Government Officers' Union, are staging a second one-day strike on Monday 20 December 2004 with a picket at midday outside Delta offices in the Octagon.

Most people in Dunedin would say that workers getting an effective pay cut is wrong, yet that is exactly what the Dunedin City Council-owned Delta is doing, says Mr Billot.

The Alliance Party has a strong policy of putting electricity back into public ownership and public control.

"The whole industry has been turned over to unaccountable managers who seem to be working against the public interest at every step, which is of course how the system was set up by right-wing politicians."

The issue with treatment of workers can not be separated from the activities of other power companies, which have included price hikes, problems with supply, and the environmental vandalism which would have resulted from Project Aqua.

ENDS

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