June 15, 2006
Workers covered by the trendsetting Metals agreement have won another important pay rise.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that workers covered by the agreement had voted overwhelmingly today to accept a 4.25 per cent pay increase, plus an extra increase for youth workers.
“That’s well ahead of inflation, and continues our campaign to lift the real value of New Zealand wages,” he said.
“This settlement can be seen alongside the recent settlement at New Zealand Post of five per cent plus three per cent over two years, ACI Glass at 4.5 per cent plus 4.5 per cent plus 3.75 per cent over three years, and a range of other recent settlements between 4.5 per cent and five per cent.”
The EPMU used last year’s Metals negotiations to launch its successful Fair Share – Five in ’05 campaign which has seen thousands of workers win real pay increases.
Mr Little said that this year’s Metals settlement sent a clear signal that workers were pushing on with their wages campaign, despite calls from politicians and the governor of the Reserve Bank for a low wage round.
“We all know that for years New Zealand workers have been underpaid while companies reaped the benefits of a booming economy, and that the only way to boost the income of working families is through a concerted wages campaign.”
The new Metals and Manufacturing Industries Collective Agreement applies from June 7 and will run for 12 months. The settlement includes the lifting of youth rates from 70 per cent of the adult wage to 80 per cent of the adult wage.
Last year’s settlement was a five per cent wage rise and a 15-month term. This year’s settlement was achieved without industrial action.
The agreement covers around 2000 workers at about 180 companies.