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Busload of Dairy Workers to protest 90 Day Bill

Press release - Dairy Workers Union 19.7.06

Busload of Dairy Workers to protest Wayne Mapp's 90 Day Bill & Taranaki Street March

The NZ Dairy Workers Union Te Runanga Wai U is taking a bus full of union delegates from sites around the North Island to join the July 20 Rally at Parliament against National's 90 Day Bill.

On the same day, workers from Fonterra's Bridge St Eltham site will march to the Eltham Town Hall and discuss issues surrounding their impending plant closure and the threat to future employment security posed by the 90 Day Bill.

"Workers at the cheese cutting and packing plant are being made redundant by Fonterra and the National Party wants to take away their employment rights for the first 90 days of any new job," said union national secretary James Ritchie.

Dairy workers feel very strongly about the 90 Day Bill because it cuts across long standing agreements in the industry concerning the use of temporary workers, he said.

"Much of the permanent and secure employment in the industry would be undermined by this Bill if it were to become law."

"At the beginning of each dairy season a series of temporary workers could be hired and discarded every 89 days and the permanent workers that are newly engaged would have no rights to challenge unfair dismissals for the first 90 days.

"Many workers travel, uproot their families and invest a great deal in accepting an offer of employment. We have enough precarious and casual employment in this country now without the National Party making it worse."

The Dairy Workers Union calls on NZ First, the Maori Party and United Future to join with Labour and the Greens to turf this Bill out before it proceeds any further, concluded Mr Ritchie.

Note - Details of activities:

* Dairy Workers Union delegates from Northland, Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty will assemble in Hamilton on Wednesday to travel by bus to Wellington for the rally outside Parliament on 20 July. The bus will travel through Taranaki and collect delegates from Fonterra's Whareroa site on the way. Delegates from Palmerston North are to travel separately by van. South Island delegates and members will participate in local activities protesting the Bill.

* Taranaki March: Thursday July 20th. Workers from Fonterra's Bridge St Eltham site, where most of the workers are being made redundant by Fonterra in about 6 months time. The march will leave the site at 1pm, 20 July, and march to the Town Hall in Eltham for the meeting.


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