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Stoppages Likely to Increase While Poor Wages Paid

National Distribution Union

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 2:00pm

Work Stoppage Likely to Increase Until Poverty Wages and Age Discrimination Ends

The number of work stoppages will likely increase until the low-wage crisis and youth based age discrimination ends, says the National Distribution Union on Anti-Poverty Day.

Statistics New Zealand data released today showed 9 work stoppages ended in the June 2006 quarter, and 59 stoppages ended in the year to June 2006.

The Kelly Global Workforce Index also released today found that almost 30 percent of those under 24 believed they were victims of age discrimination whilst applying for a job.

National Secretary Laila Harré said that it was ironic the two reports were released today as representatives from the NDU prepare to join the Service and Food Workers Union led International Anti-Poverty Day action at Britomart, 5pm today in Auckland.

"Whilst work stoppages remain historically low overall, the increase in work stoppages represent an increase in workers confidence in the face of poverty wages and youth based age discrimination," she said. "Until wages go up substantially, work stoppages are likely to increase."

Ms Harre said that whilst the recent Progressive lock out of 500 NDU members was not included in the Statistics NZ survey, the successful campaign for pay parity despite a 28 day lock out by a multi-billion dollar company has built workers confidence to organise for wage justice in the face of increasing employer militancy.

ENDS

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