Feltex Workers Secure Industry Standards
Press Release: National Distribution Union and Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union
Friday, October 13, 2006, 10.20am
Feltex Workers Secure Industry Standards For North Island Mills
The National Distribution Union and Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union have reached agreement with Godfrey Hirst in principle to retain Feltex pay and allowances for North Island mills.
Delegates and officials from the NDU and EPMU met with Godfrey Hirst over the last two days to discuss North Island Feltex workers pay and conditions, which union's were concerned would have faced cuts under a new agreement.
National Secretary Laila Harré said that discussions with the company were constructive and that unions and Godfrey Hirst have agreed on the principles that will underpin the new collective employment agreements.
"We have achieved our objective of maintaining the industry standards that have been won by generations of Feltex workers," she said. "The most important principle will secure the incomes of workers in these mills with no reductions in pay and allowances and recognition of service with Feltex."
"We had made it clear from the start that there would be a strenuous campaign against any attempt to use the change of ownership as an opportunity to reduce standards," she said.
The principles will be put to the 500 NDU and 45 EPMU union members at the remaining Feltex plants in Lower Hutt, Foxton, Feilding and Dannevirke.
EPMU National Secretary Andrew Little said that he was pleased with the outcome and hopes Godfrey Hirst will show the same goodwill for the redundant workers.
"We will continue to raise the issues of redundancies for the 44 redundant Kakariki workers and soon-to-be redundant 134 Riccarton plant workers. There is a moral, if not legal responsibility to these workers."