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Union ranks swell as workers seek protection and fair pay

Media Release: National Distribution Union
Sunday September 18, 2011.

Union ranks swell as workers seek protection and fair pay

The National Distribution Union says working people are continuing to join unions to get a fairer wage and protection at work.

He was commenting following a documentary aired this morning on Radio New Zealand about the state of unions.

“Our union has seen considerable growth in recent months, in particular among retail workers. In the past three months our membership grew by 1,000 to over 23,000 and grew by 1,000 in the year before that.”

“This tells us that unions remain relevant as ever, for protecting workers' rights and winning pay increases to help members keep up with rising living costs.”

Around 380,000 New Zealanders are members of a union, Robert Reid said, and the advantage of union membership was clear when it came to wages.

“Wage and salary rates rose only 1.9 per cent for workers in the past year, well below the cost of living rises, including high food prices.”

“But members of unions typically fare much better. Our union has been getting wage deals between the 4 and 5 per cent figure in major retail chains recently, and similar increases in other sectors like food and beverage manufacturing, infrastructure and textiles.”

Robert Reid said that the NDU was amalgamating with Finsec, the finance sector union, in October to create an even larger, stronger union of almost 28,000 members.


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