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Proressive Says Union Proposal Worth 13.5%

Press Release: National Distribution Union, Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union

Thursday, 7 September 2006, 8am

Proressive Says Union Proposal For Distribution Centre Settlement Worth 13.5%

The National Distribution Union and Progressive Enterprises will bargain in Auckland today and tomorrow over the collective agreement covering 4200 NDU members employed in Countdown, Woolworths and Foodtown supermarkets at 9am at the Airport Centra.

National Secretary Laila Harre says that the lock out of NDU and EPMU distribution workers is "casting a long shadow over the talks", but she said "the union hopes that our members' right to bargain a wage increase and have issues around service leave, youth rates and union rights addressed will not meet the same wall of resistance as the distribution workers' attempts to secure pay parity."

"Our supermarket members are obviously anxious about the talks. They have been bombarded with recorded propaganda messages in their stores about the lock out. They have been under a lot of pressure from managers over union activity and a pay rise for non-members this week has been timed to undermine the union negotiations. That matter and a number of others that have seen some workers resign from the union after meetings with the employer is in the hands of our lawyers," said Laila Harre.

Meanwhile Progressive Enterprises has said the unions' proposal for settling the national agreement which was released publicly yesterday would increase wage costs by 13.5% (see Dominion Post today).

"With flexibility over the term, method and timing of implementing increases this is a very small price to pay for pay parity," says Laila Harre.

Laila Harré will be spending time with the locked out workers in Palmerston North today and will be on the picket at 3.00pm.


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