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Workers Lose Patience with Tight-Fisted Employers

Workers Lose Patience with Tight-Fisted Employers

Union militancy would grow as unions followed the EPMU’s campaign for a five per cent pay rise for its members in 2005, Ross Wilson said today.

Speaking in Auckland at the launch of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s pay campaign, “A Fair Share – five in ‘05”, Ross Wilson said workers must join unions and get organised in collective bargaining if they wanted a decent pay rise.

At a meeting of the CTU’s governing body, the National Affiliates Council, this week, unions agreed to back a public campaign for wage improvements.

“Reports in the media say business has never had it so good – companies are reaping the rewards of an economy growing more than 4 per cent a year while labour costs rise at 2.2 per cent,” Ross Wilson said.

“Employers are proving our case for us by not offering reasonable wage increases,” he said. “It shows the need for collective bargaining, and for workers to join up to unions, get organised and demand decent pay rises.”

Workers have been patient, but that patience is running out. Even National Party leader Don Brash has pointed out that pay rates in Australia are on average 25 per cent higher than in New Zealand.

“By being tight and greedy, many employers are forcing greater militancy in their workforces – and unions are ready to harness that anger and push for a fair share for members,” Ross Wilson said.

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