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Strike Fund established

3 November 2006

Media Release:


Strike Fund established for Independent Liquor workers

A strike fund has been established to support workers at Independent Liquor in Papakura where the battle for decent pay and an end to vicious bullying and intimidation of union members is heating up.

Workers took two days of strike action this week and a further strike is planned for next Tuesday, 7 November from 9am at the company’s premises in Boundary Road, Papakura.

Unite expects that this will be a long battle as well as a particularly bitter one in the face of the impending sale of the company which will leave workers high and dry without decent redundancy and with poor pay and conditions relative to other brewery workers.

Independent workers (Mostly Maori and Pacific Island workers) are fighting for parity with other brewery workers. For example:
• Workers at Lion and DB receive on average 10% more than Independent Liquor workers for performing the same job.
• The shift allowances at Lion are typically between $27 and $42 per shift while at DB they range from $24 to $36 per shift. At Independent the range is from $12.50 to $15 per shift.
• Overtime rates come in after 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day at Lion and DB but after 45 hours per week at Independent.
• Redundancy at Lion and DB is triple the redundancy arrangements at Independent.
Overall Independent Liquor workers typically earn up to $300 per week less than Lion or DB workers.

The company says it pays a “rate for this area” – in other words a “South Auckland rate of pay” which the workers reject outright. The company has stonewalled negotiations and victimised union members.

The company was owned by Michael Erceg who was killed in a helicopter crash last year. It has been hugely profitable and is now valued at more than a billion dollars.

Donations to the strike fund can be made through Unite Union, 6A Western Springs Road, Morningside, Auckland.


Ends

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