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Australian Union Will Do Whatever it Takes For NZ

MUA pledges solidarity with NZ comrades

12 September 2006

By MUA Media Release, -

Maritime Union will do 'whatever it takes' to support NZ comrades

The Maritime Union of Australia has pledged financial, industrial and political support for 600 NZCTU distribution workers, affiliates of the International Transport Workers' Federation, now into their third week locked out the gates in dispute with Australian owned distribution company Progressive Enterprises, a subsidiary of Woolworths.

"We will do whatever it takes to get these workers justice", said MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin. "This is a civil rights issue and this union is committed to supporting our New Zealand comrades, financially, industrially, politically and in any way we can."

The national secretary joined his NZ counterparts in deploring the hypocrisy of management refusing to negotiate a modest wage rise for workers while paying the CEO $8 million a year.

"Its obscene company executives pocket multi-million dollar salaries, while working families have to struggle to keep their heads above water," he said.

The NZ workers at four distribution centres were locked out on August 28th after taking industrial action during enterprise agreement negotiations. The company has set conditions for their return that force them to give up their right to negotiate a national collective agreement.

ITF affiliates have also raised concern over TV reports on the weekend showing apparently brutal police arrests of 10 picketers.

Members wishing to make donations online can do so via the MUNZ website at www.munz.org.nz

Letters of solidarity can be sent to NZCTU Ross Wilson, President, at samh@nzctu.org.nz and rossw@nzctu.org.nz. You can find regular updates on www.shelfrespect.org and the CTU resolution passed at the special meeting on Friday http://www.union.org.nz/news/701.html .

ENDS

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