Aotearoa: WORKERS ON STRIKE
500 Supermarket Supply Chain workers locked out across Aotearoa
06 Sep 2006 08:13 GMT
Multinational corporations in collusion with the 'Labour' government are waging vicious class warfare on workers in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The last month has seen an escalation of workers struggle against anti-union and pro-corporate policies that threaten our jobs, communities and environment. 500 workers at Distribution Centres of Progressive supermarkets went on strike on Friday 25th Aug because they demand one collective agreement for all four Distribition Centre and a pay increase. The workers were then locked-out by their employer and have not yet been back to work!
Three of the distribution centres are shut down with no trucks arriving or leaving. Four trucks were able to depart in Palmerston North this morning. Some workers quit the union there to go back to work because they have to feed their families and pay the bills.
Links: Shelfrespect.org | Supersizemypay.com | National Distribution Union | Supermarket Supply Chain Strikes Across the Country | Tamaki Makaurau: 5000 workers unite to "Kill the Bill" | 90 Days later - Workers unite at Parliament! | New Caledonian port workers beat Maersk
The aggressive strategies being pursued by corporate elites in our deregulated market economy mirror the global picture of a dog-eat-dog capitalism that if left unchecked will see a continuing rise in wealth for the privileged few while the rest of us get poorer.
The workers at the Progressive supermarkets distribution center in Mangere, Auckland decided to continue the strike for 80 hours until Monday after the Australian owned company suspended fifty workers in Palmerston North. Workers have responded by voting to extend their strike demanding that Progressives rehire all the Palmerston North workers immediately. National Distribution Union advocate Stan Renwick had said on Friday that the strike will have to be extended. "If Progressive are going to escalate the dispute by suspending our members, we will have to consider a further escalation as a possible response," he said. While the Australian company makes massive profits it uses fear and intimidation against its workers. Recent reports indicate empty shelves at some Auckland supermarkets while workers maintain a continuous picket line outside the center. [ Media Release | Pictures]
The Progressives distribution center strike turned into a lock out. Workers are calling on the community to join picket lines and donate to the strike fund as the dispute drags on, clearing supermarket shelves. [Appeal for Solidarity] In the lower North Island solidarity actions are raising workers spirits but more people are needed on the picket lines. [Palmerston Nth. Strike Report | Porirua Picket Report | Wellington blockade Report ]
Union organiser Stan Renwick was arrested at the picket line on 28th August as scabs made their way into the Auckland centre. The NDU are now saying the nationwide strike will continue indefinitely. Progressives have responded by saying they will bypass the picket line by sending produce straight from manufacturers to it's supermarkets. Two other union organisers were later arrested attempting to stop scabs from entering the distribution centre. Truck drivers from one company have voted to stop moving goods over the picket line forcing the company to use other truck drivers. In Christchurch police used batons to clear picketlines while in Auckland another union organiser was so badly hurt after being attacked while stopping truck drivers crossing the picket line she had to go to hospital. 3 people were arrested in Lower Hutt blockading trucks going to supermarkets.
Workers and their family's require urgent financial support. Donations can be made to the National Distribution Union at 02-0200-0217968-0 with the reference "Supply Chain". Pictures and updates on Aucklands Burning