September 19, 2006
Locked-out Chch workers head south
Locked-out Progressive supermarket distribution workers head south from Christchurch today to meet with other workers.
The delegation will hold meetings and rallies in Dunedin, Oamaru, Timaru and Ashburton.
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union South Island secretary Ged O’Connell said that people in these towns had already raised thousands of dollars to help support the locked-out workers, who hadn’t been paid in more than three weeks.
“This is an important dispute, and workers know that,” he said.
“To have a huge Australian-owned company trying to starve New Zealand workers into submission is not he Kiwi way, and workers around the country are standing up to Woolworths Australia and saying ‘you can’t treat us like that’.”
The workers have been told they will not be allowed to return to work until they withdraw a claim for a national collective agreement, which would see Christchurch workers paid the same amount as their colleagues in Auckland and Palmerston North.
The delegation’s itinerary is:
2.30 today: one group meets watersiders at Port Chalmers while another group meets workers at the Cadbury factory in Dunedin.
Tomorrow morning: demonstration outside Countdown Central supermarket, Dunedin.
3.30pm tomorrow: Meeting workers at Fisher and Paykel, Dunedin.
Tomorrow night: get-together with supporters at the CTU Centre, Dunedin.
Thursday morning: demonstration at Oamaru Countdown.
Thursday midday: demonstration at Countdown Timaru.
3pm Thursday: demonstration at Ashburton Countdown.