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Nurses Org. Backs Locked Out Supermarket Workers

NZNO Media Release
31 August 2006

Nurses Organisation Backs Locked Out Supermarket Workers

The New Zealand Nurses Organisation is strongly supporting locked out members of the National Distribution Union in their battle for decent pay and a national collective agreement.

"This is a dispute over fair and decent treatment of a group of low paid New Zealand workers," said NZNO Organising Services Manager Cee Payne-Harker today.

"Those workers are being bullied by a mega-company whose only interest seems to be increasing the return for Australian shareholders."

Cee Payne-Harker said she was confident NZNO's nearly 40,000 members would understand only too well the importance of a single collective agreement and the claim for a decent wage.

"Nurses know the importance of national collective agreements and value their national collective agreement across all public hospitals," she said.

"It simply does not make sense for distribution workers in Palmerston North, employed by the same company, to earn more than their counterparts in Auckland and Christchurch simply because they are on a different collective agreement."

Cee Payne-Harker said NZNO members would also be very sympathetic to the NDU members' claim for decent pay rates.

"Many NZNO members, particularly in the aged care sector, are very low paid," she said.

"It is not acceptable that whole sectors of New Zealand are expected to exist on poverty rates while their overseas-owned corporate employers pile up their profits."

Cee Payne-Harker said the lockout was a bully-boy tactic that fair-mined New Zealanders would utterly reject and NZNO would join other unions in responding to the CTU call for unions across the country to support the locked out workers in moral and practical ways.


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