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Stoppage Increase the Result of Union Campaign

20 April 2006

Work Stoppage Increase the Result of Active Union Wage Campaign

"The increase in work stoppages in 2005 was caused by employers being unrealistic about the union movement's Fair Share wage campaign," CTU Secretary Carol Beaumont said today, following Statistics New Zealand's release of work stoppage figures for the year to December.

"The 5% wage campaign last year saw industrial action in some wage negotiations, however many employers recognised that a 5% plus increase, while CPI was running at over 3%, was a reasonable claim and settled with unions quickly."

"There are over 2,500 collective employment agreements in force," said Carol Beaumont. "The vast majority of agreements are settled without industrial action, and many employers have recognised the need to offer higher wages to attract and retain workers."

"The CTU has consistently argued for an investment approach to employment - in skills development and training, higher wages and improved productivity," said Carol Beaumont. "Many employers have come on board with this approach, but those that don't recognise the need to address the low wage crisis in New Zealand may continue to expect a strong response from unions for decent wages this year."

"Last month the union movement launched its Make Low Wages History campaign - and we will continue to pressure employers to recognise the need to address low wages in New Zealand."

ENDS

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