Industrial action at Refining NZ over job security and
health and safety
Members of FIRST Union and the EPMU have given notice of a 48 hour strike at the Marsden Point oil refinery.
FIRST Union organiser Jared Abbott said that the critical issues for workers are protecting health and safety and job security.
“Unions are proposing that workers are only required to work their 12 hour shifts to a maximum of 7 days in a row. However Refining NZ wants staff to be required to work up to 14 days continuously without a rest day.”
“We believe people working long hours for days on end without a rest is completely unsafe. Its bad practise in any industry, but for a hazardous industry like oil refining it is an unnecessary risk.”
“The members are also concerned by the company’s decision to contract out previously secure jobs. The members of the two unions are making a stand for secure work.”
Wages were not a priority at this time, Jared Abbott said. Unions and the company have been negotiating since May and workers are willing to accept a nil wage increase, despite the company being majority owned by very profitable oil giants and an intrinsic part of their supply chain.
The strike is set down for a 48 hour period commencing 12.01am on Tuesday October 7.