July 1, 2008
EPMU launches Wage Drive campaign
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union will hold 25 mass rallies across New Zealand in August as part of its Work Rights Wage Drive campaign launched today.
The rallies will involve the EPMU’s 50,000 members from Invercargill to Kaitaia and aim to raise public awareness about the importance of work rights and higher wages this election.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says strong work rights are central to the wellbeing of New Zealand workers and the economy and is a pivotal issue today.
“The strength of people’s work rights directly affects their wages, whether it’s having the employment security to ask for a pay rise, the collective bargaining rights to raise wages through campaigns like Fair Share 5% in ’05, or Kiwisaver and regular increases in the minimum wage.
“At a time when Kiwis are feeling the pinch from higher prices and political parties are talking about closing the wage gap with Australia it’s important voters understand the real solutions won’t come from tax cuts but from stronger work rights and higher wages.
“New Zealand’s wages are still recovering from the last time our work rights were stripped from us and we don’t want to see it happen again.
“That’s why we’ll be challenging parties to provide detailed policies on work rights and wages and encouraging every one of our members to think very carefully before they vote in this year’s election.”
The EPMU is New Zealand’s largest private sector union, representing 50,000 members across eleven industries.
For more information about the Work Rights Wage Drive, including a schedule and photos from today’s launch visit www.workrights.org.nz.