May 13, 2005
Metals hits 100 – but disputes continue
One hundred companies are now part of the influential Metals agreement – more than a week ahead of the union’s target.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that he was delighted with progress.
“Last week we announced the settlement of the Metals agreement with 73 companies,” he said. “We said that we intended to have that number up to 100 by May 20. We signed up the 100th yesterday, more than a week ahead of schedule. This confirms that the Metals is a live agreement and that employers accept that five per cent is the going pay rise.”
However, disputes continue in some areas. Workers at rangehood manufacturer Robin Hood are this morning picketing the plant as part of a three-day strike in support of their claim to be part of the Metals agreement.
The 75 workers walked off the job on Wednesday after bosses at the Auckland plant refused to sign into the recently settled Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement.
Mr Little said that the company appeared to be confused about the status of the Metals agreement, and thought that they couldn’t sign up to it without the approval of the EMA.
“The EMA was the employers’ advocate, but it informed the union that it no longer represented the group,” he said. “The union then negotiated directly with employers, and reached agreement.
“The Metals is settled and there is nothing to stop companies signing into it. The workers at Robin Hood are becoming very frustrated with the situation, which has led to the current strike.”
Robin Hood is owned by Australian company Allesco. The picket is at the plant at 6 Zelandian Dr, East Tamaki.