15 January 2018
E tū Sistema members who have been in dispute with their employer over wages and conditions have agreed to accept the company’s latest offer for a new collective agreement.
The deal will lift wages by about 16 percent for all members, by April 2020. Also included are provisions so workers are always paid a margin above the minimum wage.
Sistema has also agreed to regular meetings between union delegates and its management to resolve issues.
Members voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal at meetings this week.
The ratification of the agreement follows more than a year of talks, mediation and industrial action by workers at the giant plastics firm.
“The agreement is a big step forward and will see us working in a much better workplace than before,” says E tū delegate and Sistema worker, Maria Latu.
“The dispute has brought union members together, and we have learned that we can rely on each other, and when we do that, we are strong,” she says.
E tū advocate, Mat Danaher says the members refused to settle until they believed the deal was as good as they could get.
“These are low paid workers, who work extremely long hours. They’ve been prepared to walk off the job numerous times to get what they want at considerable personal cost.
“Through it all they’ve stood strong, and this is a well-deserved win,” he says.
Mat and the members also extend their thanks to the wider community in New Zealand and overseas who also supported the campaign for better pay and conditions for Sistema workers.