CTU MEDIA RELEASE
21 September 2006
Progressive Defeated By Huge Community Support
“Progressive Enterprises seriously underestimated the huge level of community support for the workers it locked out nearly a month ago, and today’s settlement achieving pay parity is a victory for ordinary working people over this large overseas employer,” CTU president Ross Wilson said today.
“Thanks to overwhelming financial and moral support from unions, union members and the general public the company’s strategy of starving these low paid workers into submission has failed.”
“It is a cynical misrepresentation for the company to say today the industrial action was “unfortunate”,” Ross Wilson said.
“This lock out was completely avoidable. Progressive pursued a deliberate strategy of starving into submission vulnerable workers who were using the proper legal processes to improve their wages. It has highlighted a fundamental weakness in our employment laws,” Ross Wilson said.
“It should be of serious concern to every New Zealander, and corporate employer, that this Australian company’s behaviour in this dispute has been characterised by a ruthlessness and indifference to its staff which we have not seen in New Zealand in recent history.”
“It has also signalled the brutality of the new Australian industrial relations approach, and what we could be experiencing under a Brash Government which is on record as supporting the Howard Government legislation.”