Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Wages campaign set to escalate


Wages campaign set to escalate

Strikes and rallies planned for next week

Frustrated workers are increasing the pressure on employers for a pay rise as the Fair Share – Five in 05 campaign starts to bite.

Tomorrow night (Sunday), workers will walk off the job at the Colgate Palmolive plant in Petone, and mass rallies will be held in Auckland and Christchurch next week.

Mediation in the wake of a 24-hour strike by Colgate workers on Wednesday failed to settle the dispute. The company has upped its pay offer from 3.4 per cent for one year to the equivalent of 4.49 per cent for a year (offering five per cent for 15 months). The workers want five per cent for one year.

It is the first industrial dispute in the plant’s 50-year history, and, says Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little, is a sign of the deep frustration among New Zealand workers.

“Good, honest, hard-working New Zealand people are tired of seeing the spoils of our economic boom going to everyone but them,” he said.

“They believe that they are entitled to a fair share, and are prepared to do what’s necessary to get it.”

Thousands of workers are expected to attend rallies in Auckland and Christchurch on Tuesday and Wednesday to show their support for the union’s Fair Share – Five in 05 campaign for a minimum five per cent pay rise for all working people.

The rallies, at Alexandra Park and Addington raceways, will be open to members of other unions and to people who are not union members.

“This campaign is for everyone,” Mr Little said, “whether you’re a union member or not. We’re all in this together, and it’s only be acting together that working people will win a decent pay rise.”

The rallies will be held as advocates in the key Metals agreement prepare to return to the negotiating table on Thursday. The Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement – the country’s largest and most influential multi-employer, private-sector industrial document – sets the going rates and conditions for thousands of manufacturing workers.

Talks to renew the agreement broke down on February 25 with the employers (represented by the Employers and Manufacturers Association) offering a final-offer pay rise of 3.2 per cent.

On March 9, the EMA told the union that negotiations were at an end, but agreed to return to talks after workers across the country said that they would hold a half-day strike. Talks resumed on Wednesday (March 30) and are scheduled to continue next Thursday (April 7).

Mr Little said that increases to the Government’s Working for Families package, which took effect yesterday (April 1) were proof that New Zealand wages were too low.

“The fact that the Government has to pour money into subsidising wages so that working people can afford to feed their family is an indictment on the employers of New Zealand,” he said.

“While we applaud the Government’s actions, we maintain that the wages of working people must be high enough for them and their families to maintain a decent standard of living.”


The Colgate Palmolive strike will start at 11pm on Sunday.

The Auckland rally will be held at Alexandra Park at 10am on Tuesday, and the Christchurch rally will be at 1pm at Addington on Wednesday. Media are welcome to attend.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news