Workers at Brambles-owned CHEP Christchurch have walked off the job again today to protest the employer’s refusal to negotiate an improved pay offer, according to FIRST Union.
The workers went on a 24-hour strike earlier this month, and the union now understands that Brambles is threatening to lock the workers out until they accept the employer’s final offer. Members are again standing on a picket line until Brambles step up and resume bargaining.
These Christchurch workers are demanding parity with workers in Auckland doing the same job”, said FIRST Union organiser David Bristow.
“Significant rises in the cost of living here means that the company can no longer hide behind regional labour market differences – these workers are struggling to make ends meet now. One worker has had a $70 per week rent increase over the last month alone.”
The current pay difference between Auckland CHEP workers and Christchurch averages around $2.00 an hour.
Union delegate Uelese Faau said that it is sad that the situation has had to come to this. “We know Chep can afford this – every year they tell us how many millions they are making, while every day it gets harder to make ends meet. We let it slide for a few years but the workers have lost trust in the company and need something in return.”
FIRST Union has launched a public petition calling on Brambles to do the right thing and resume bargaining. There is huge support from the Christchurch public, who know how hard it is to cover the costs of living, particularly the rising cost of housing.
What: Chep Christchurch members on strike
When: Monday 21 July 2014
Where: Corner of Shands Road and Halswell Junction Road, Hornby