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Yunca Strike Shows Importance Of Strong Work Rights

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

4 August 2008 - Workers at Invercargill wood burner manufacturer Yunca have taken strike action following the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union's Wage Drive rally in Invercargill this morning.

The eleven Yunca workers have been trying to negotiate an agreement for nearly two years and were amongst the hundred and fifty union members who turned out to support stronger work rights at the EPMU's second Wage Drive event.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the strike action is a clear example of the importance of work rights to higher wages.

"While our members have had real trouble with Yunca they've been able to take action through the courts, organise through their union and take legally protected strike action.

"It can be hard to push difficult employers like Yunca to pay a fair rate but without decent work rights it would be impossible.

"Anyone who claims weakened work rights would not lead to workers being exploited needs to come down here and talk to our members at Yunca who had previously not had pay rises for six years.

"They're unionised now and we are confident they'll get a fair deal but that's only because they're backed by a strong framework of work rights. Without those rights our members might well have gone another six years without a pay increase."

The EPMU represents 50,000 New Zealand workers and is running 25 rallies nationwide this month to promote the importance of stronger work rights to winning higher wages.

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