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Dirty Laundry To Be Washed In Public

8 June 2005

Dirty Laundry To Be Washed In Public:

Capital And Coast Laundry Workers Issue Strike Notices

"Laundry workers at Capital and Coast will be washing the DHB's dirty laundry in public when they take strike action from Thursday 23 June," said Maxine Gay, secretary of the Clothing, Laundry and Allied Workers Union.

The union filed notices of strike yesterday after a breakdown in collective employment agreement negotiations last week.

Maxine Gay accused the DHB of treating their laundry workers as "second class citizens".

"Processing laundry is one of the most important jobs in the hospital," she said. "Without clean laundry the hospital will grind to a halt."

"Capital and Coast has this year again offered laundry workers a lower wage increase than the rate of inflation," Maxine Gay said. "Laundry workers cannot take one more year of real wage cuts. The wages of Capital and Coast laundry workers have dropped by more than 20% compared to the minimum wage over the last 4 years."

"Capital and Coast laundry workers are paid almost $1 per hour less than all other public hospital laundry workers in the lower half of the North Island," she said. "Yet they are being offered a lower increase than that already agreed to for the other laundry workers."

Capital and Coast laundry workers have only been offered 2.5% plus 2.5% over two years

"Every suggestion that we have put forward at the negotiations such as productivity increases, production bonuses, skill related pay, saving schemes and changes to work practices have been rejected by the DHB," Maxine Gay said. "The DHB negotiators have even had the gall to tell the laundry workers that if they make savings or improve productivity, the DHB will take all this money for "more important" parts of the organisation, rather than increase laundry workers wages."

"More of the DHB's dirty laundry will be revealed leading up to the strike," concluded Maxine Gay.

ENDS

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