October 21, 2008
Interwaste workers strike over cuts
Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members at Interwaste are taking strike action after the airline service company tried to halve their sick leave, reduce their redundancy and offered a pay increase of only 3%.
All of the company's six frontline workers are on strike which means managers will be left to cover the work, which includes dealing with hazardous hospital waste.
EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says strike action is the last resort for workers trying to protect their terms and conditions.
"These workers are facing serious cuts to conditions they've fought hard for and now they have no other choice left except strike action.
"This attempt to reduce conditions follows closely on the heels of strike action by members at Croxley who were defending themselves against nearly a million dollars worth of cuts.
"Our concern is that employers are getting more aggressive about transferring the cost of recession onto workers and that's a situation Kiwi workers can't afford to have happen.
"Interwaste's three per cent pay increase when the CPI is running at 5.1% is plainly out of touch.
"Nobody likes having to take industrial action but at the moment that's all members at Interwaste have to protect themselves against cuts."
The EPMU is New Zealand's largest private sector union, representing 50,000 workers across 11 industries.