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Source: Maritime Union of New Zealand

The Maritime Union of New Zealand is backing locked out pulp and paper workers at the Essity plant in Kawerau.

The 145 locked out workers manufacture toilet paper and belong to the Pulp and Paper Workers Union. They have been locked out of their jobs by the employer for three weeks.

Maritime Union of New Zealand National Secretary Craig Harrison says workers around New Zealand are swinging in behind the Kawerau workers.

Mr Harrison says maritime workers are contributing financially to the locked out workers and would ramp up support if the employer continued to try and starve the workers into submission.

“These are New Zealand workers who are being subjected to starvation tactics by an overseas owned corporate that makes a lot of money in and from New Zealand.”

Mr Harrison says the tactic of the company to prevent hardship withdrawals by the workers from their own superannuation savings is a new low.

He says the workers are simply trying to maintain their wages rather than go backwards as the cost of living rises sharply.

“This is not some big money grab – it is about keeping up with the cost of living, and we know the management and shareholders of Essity are not doing it tough.”

Mr Harrison says the pulp and paper workers have been great supporters of other workers in struggle and it was time to repay their solidarity.

“This is a very solid community of essential workers and they deserve the support of all New Zealanders.”