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Source: First Union

FIRST Union members who work for the Société Générale de Surveillance ( SGS) in Ruakaka, New Plymouth, Napier and Tauranga are today beginning a full withdrawal of labour until the 25 th of October following unsuccessful negotiations over a new Collective Agreement.
Justin Wallace, FIRST Union organiser, said that the latest offer from SGS – a multi-national oil and gas testing, inspection and certification company with 2,600 offices and 96,000 employees – was rejected by members and strike action notified in advance, as required by NZ employment law for essential workers in the supply chain.
“Our members have been very clear that they do not want to be locked into an 18-month contract with pay rises below the rate of inflation while the cost of living continues to rise,” said Mr Wallace.
“The strike action will mainly affect the loading and unloading of fuel for shipping in the ports where our members work, but there are already concerns about how the company might deal with their absence.”
“The nature of striking as essential oil and gas workers means a long notification period to their employer, and our members are cautioning against the company attempting to continue operating as normal without them.”
“These are highly-skilled jobs where environmental and work hazards are very real, so it would be dangerous for SGS to attempt to bring in casual workers or workers from outside the ports during this industrial action.”
“Our members are ready and willing to return to the negotiating table at any point, but they will not be forced into a bad deal that takes them backwards by a company that is making millions around the world.”