9 July 2014
Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity
Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector.
Chep is an Australian-based company that has operated in New Zealand since 1974, employing 33 union members at the Christchurch site.
“The pay gap between the Christchurch site and the newly negotiated rates at the Wiri site averages around $2 dollars an hour”, said FIRST Union Southern Region Secretary Paul Watson.
“Chep have tried to explain away the difference by pointing to higher costs of living in Auckland,” says Watson, “but this makes little sense since the rates at their Penrose plant are similar to those paid in Christchurch.”
Watson said that the cost of housing and rental prices in Christchurch are going through the roof. “One member said just this week that their weekly rent is going up $50. Our claim for $1.00 per hour will not address this mess but it will help offset these rising costs.”
Members have said they are fully committed to further strike action if necessary. They are appealing to both Chep and its parent company Brambles to act in good faith, and reflect on its commitment to “developing a diverse workforce where everyone is treated fairly”.
What: Chep Christchurch
members on strike for national pay
When: Thursday 10 July 2014
Where: Corner of Shands Road and Halswell Junction Road, Hornby