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Metals strike called off - talks to resume

Metals strike called off - Employers agree to resume talks

Tomorrow’s strike by metals workers has been called off after their employers agreed to return to the negotiating table.

Workers covered by the key Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement were to stage a half-day strike tomorrow in protest over their employers’ refusal to continue negotiations to renew the agreement.

Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said tonight that the employers had now indicated that they were prepared to resume negotiations.

“In light of that, tomorrow’s strike has been called off,” he said, “but a stop-work meeting at Ericsson Stadium in Auckland will go ahead at noon.”

Mr Little said that he was awaiting official notification of when negotiations might resume.

The Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement is the most important private-sector industrial document in the country, covering workers at some 220 companies directly and setting the going rates and conditions across the private sector.

Talks to renew the agreement broke down on February 24 with workers claiming a “fair share” pay rise of five per cent. Employers made a final offer of 3.2 per cent.

The agreement expired on March 7.

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