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Union launches strike fund in fair-share fight

Union launches strike fund in fair-share fight

The EPMU has today launched a strike fund in support of its Fair Share – Five in ’05 campaign.

The union’s national executive, meeting in Wellington, has kicked the fund off with $50,000, and will review the situation at its two-monthly meetings.

National secretary Andrew Little said that the money would be used to financially support workers striking for a “fair-share” five per cent pay rise.

EPMU members currently involved in disputes include metals workers, workers at Solid Energy coal mines, and workers at the Colgate Palmolive plant in Petone.

The union’s staff are each contributing a half-day’s pay to the fund, and an appeal has gone out today for workers from other sites to contribute what they can.

Mr Little said that all workers – regardless of whether they were union members or not – would benefit from the Fair Share campaign because it would lift wages across the economy.

“This campaign is about all of us,” he said.

“The only way in which we can lift New Zealand wages is by working together. For some, that will mean taking industrial action in support of their pay claim. That action will help all of us, and this fund provides a way in which everyone can help.”

Members of the public can contribute to the fund by phoning 0800 1UNION (0800 186466).

Mr Little said that public support for the campaign had been overwhelming.

Meanwhile, workers from 90 metals sites in Auckland will hold a stop-work meeting at Ericcson Stadium at 1pm today to decide whether to take strike action tomorrow.

Metals workers across the country have rejected a four per cent pay offer from employers covered by the Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement.

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