July 13, 2006
Industrial action at Southland Times
Workers at the Fairfax-owned Southland Times are on a work-to-rule over the company’s refusal to give them standard industry working conditions.
Sixty editorial, production, circulation and advertising staff members are involved in the action, which began on July 7.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said that the workers were frustrated that, despite long negotiations and mediation, the company was still refusing to provide the same working conditions enjoyed by staff at other Fairfax papers in New Zealand.
“We’re talking about things like a service allowance that are standard industry practice and which Fairfax provides at similar papers, like the Daily News in New Plymouth,” he said.
“Why should workers at the Southland Times be treated any differently from workers on these other papers? The company doesn’t claim that it can’t afford the same conditions in Southland, it just doesn’t want to pay them.”
The workers are calling on Southlanders to support them by lodging protests with the company and threatening to cancel subscriptions. They are delivering flyers around Invercargill explaining the situation.