Workers win pay parity across all threes sites!
The dispute involving the 500 locked out distribution workers in New Zealand has been resolved. Union members in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch have ratified the terms of settlement with Progressive Enterprises who are owned by Woolworths Australia.
The three-year settlement achieves the workers’ key aim of equal pay across the three sites. A single national pay rate will deliver a 19.7% pay rise to the lowest paid distribution centre in Christchurch within two years!
While this settlement results in three separate agreements it was the fact that the workers bargained collectively, on a national basis, that achieved the result of equal pay across the sites.
Progressive were forced to give up the the fight in the face of overwhelming public support for the workers by late last week.
Laila Harré National Secretary of the NDU said “the workers were very aware of the importance of local and international union support”. Laila sent UNITE in Australia an email last week thanking them for their support.
UNITE would like to congratulate all of the workers involved in this dispute. It was obviuosly a long month without pay but the determination that was shown can be an example to workers internationally.