April 23, 2008
Ecolab strike heads into fourth week
Today marks the start of the fourth week of strike action for fifteen Hamilton-based Ecolab workers who are fighting for an industry standard agreement.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members took strike action to protest the multinational chemical company’s refusal to agree to the same deal that more than a thousand other Kiwi manufacturing workers get.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says Ecolab has shown no respect for its workers.
“Ecolab is a multibillion dollar US company that is acting in an unconscionable way towards workers and their families who are standing up for a fair share.
“All our members are asking for is the same deal that well over one hundred Kiwi employers have agreed to but Ecolab’s only response has been continual refusal to engage with these workers.”
EPMU member and Ecolab worker Phillip Strawbridge says the dispute is starting to bite.
“I’ve gone through my savings and this is the first week I’m going to struggle to pay my mortgage and the loan we took out for our wedding.
“It’s worse for the guys with young families, they signed on to the union for protection from the company’s tactics and now they are in this fight for some pretty basic conditions. Ecolab should be ashamed of themselves for this.”
Ecolab workers are seeking to join the Metals & Manufacturing MECA, an industry-wide collective agreement that provides minimum pay and conditions for workers at more than 100 general manufacturing firms nationwide.