Saturday, October 31, 2009

'Pay freeze in employees' best interests'


Cartoon from the Manawatu Standard of October 21, 2009.

The article below, dated October 19, 2009, is a "joint media release" headlined "$29m Tui profit justifies pay freeze – Yeah right" from scoop.co.nz:

Tui workers in Timaru and Greymouth are giving a collective ‘yeah right’ to Dominion Breweries over the company’s attempt to impose a pay freeze.

More than 50 Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers Union members began a four day strike this morning, while DB employees in other parts of the country are considering action of their own.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says workers are outraged that DB is trying to impose a pay freeze at a time when it’s still making healthy profits.

“Beer prices have gone up and frankly selling beer in New Zealand is as easy as organising a piss up in a brewery.

“DB posted a profit of $29 million for the last financial year, and while we’re all aware of the impact of the recession this is a business that can easily afford to give its workers a fair pay increase.

“Given their healthy profits it’s just not credible for DB to plead poverty. They shouldn’t be surprised when their workers say ‘yeah right’ to a pay freeze.”

SFWU assistant national secretary Neville Donaldson says workers have shown good faith in the company.

“Over the last few years our members have shown flexibility and productivity but are not seeing anything in return. This dispute is as much about respect as it is about money.

“Rather than use the recession to attack our members DB needs to recognise the steps its workforce has taken to help the business succeed and make them a fair offer.”

The strike started this morning and will continue until Thursday. Further action has not been ruled out.


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