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Pacific Union Condemnation for Progressive Ent.

16 September 2006

Asia - Pacific Union Condemnation for Progressive Enterprises

International Unions representing 30 million workers in the Asia-Pacific region have condemned Progressive Enterprises' handling of locked out distribution workers.

CTU president Ross Wilson is in Singapore this week and moved the resolution at the regional meeting of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions - Asian and Pacific Regional Organisation.

"International unions are taking note of this dispute," CTU secretary Carol Beaumont said. "This week several large donations have come in from overseas for the locked out workers, and international union bodies are considering what further support they can provide.

"Woolworths Australia, the owner of Progressive Enterprises, must now realise that they cannot bully these locked out workers back to work by starving them into submission," Beaumont said.

The international union body represents 158 million members in 150 countries and territories worldwide, and 28 countries representing 30 million members in the Asia Pacific region.

The full resolution reads:

Resolution - New Zealand

The 82nd ICFTU-APRO Executive Board Meeting in Singapore on 14-16 September 2006:

Notes with Concern

That Australia's largest private sector employer, Woolworths Australia, through its subsidiary Progressive Enterprises, has locked out its 590 distribution worker members of the New Zealand National Distribution Union, and Engineering Printing and Manufacturing Union in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch, New Zealand for 3 weeks to try and force them to give up their claim for a single national collective agreement providing pay parity for the same work at the three sites

Condemns

This heavy handed pressure by a major corporate employer to force low paid workers to relinquish their right to bargain collectively as guaranteed by ILO Conventions and New Zealand law.

And Extends Full Support

To the New Zealand distribution workers led by the NDU, the EPMU, and the NZCTU in their efforts to exercise their legitimate rights and achieve a fair settlement

ENDS

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