15 December 2005
'Here to work, want to work' say locked out Southland local authority workers
"Here to work - want to work" was the catch cry of a group of local government workers who were this morning locked out of their workplaces by their employers.
The workers, members of the Public Service Association, were prevented from returning to worksites at the Invercargill City Council and the Gore District Council, after their employers locked them out for the remainder of the week.
"This is an unnecessary overreaction from the employer", said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions President. "These workers were offered an inadequate pay increase of 3%, and made the decision to take industrial action on Tuesday. To then find out they have been locked out for the remainder of the week is a kick in the teeth."
"These workers want to be back at work," said Ross Wilson. "The local authorities in Southland need to come back to the bargaining table in good faith with a decent offer."
The workers took industrial action on Tuesday after negotiations for the renewal of their multi employer collective agreement broke down. Their claim was for 4.5 for twelve months, and the retention of the multi employer agreement, which covers the four territorial local authorities in Southland.