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Trolley jam for locked out distribution workers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Trolley jam for locked out distribution workers

TAURANGA, 14 Sept. 2006 - A group of consumers concerned about Progressive Enterprise’s lock-out of 500 distribution workers undertook a symbolic protest at a Tauranga supermarket this evening.

At Foodtown Tauranga on Cameron Road, a group of protestors blocked aisles with full trolleys of goods. The trolleys each included a statement of their dissatisfaction with Progressive’s lack of progress in the industrial dispute.

The disruptive action was used to highlight the plight of 500 distribution workers locked out in Auckland, Palmerston North, and Christchurch for over 20 days. The workers were locked out after a 48 hour strike, when Progressive refused to negotiate over the issue of a national collective accord and pay parity.

Spokesperson Graham Cameron noted, “Progressive’s actions are against the intent of the Employment Relations Act, and take advantage of some of our lowest paid workers.”

Progressive is a subsidiary of Woolworths Australia, Australia’s largest retailer with profits of over $1 billion. Union officials have accused Progressive of under-handed tactics in the course of the lock-out.

Progressive have offered pay-rises to workers who have not joined the strikers, and have been accused of bypassing the unions by sending contracts individually to the workers involved.

Asked whether this whether there would be a repeat of such actions, Graham Cameron responded, “Until Progressive comes to the bargaining table in good faith, they can expect more of these actions to occur at any time and at any place through New Zealand.”

Further information about the lock-out can be obtained from www.shelfrespect.org

ENDS

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