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Source: First Union

FIRST Union and E tū Union members who work at two Fletcher-owned EasySteel sites in Auckland and Christchurch have last week voted unanimously to accept an 8.75% wage increase in their new Collective Agreement that will see them through the next year.
Justin Wallace, FIRST Union organiser, said that union members successfully made their case that the rising cost of living necessitated meaningful increases to wages during recent pay negotiations, but it was not without difficulties.
“While the company’s initial offers fell below expectations, our members stayed focused on the bigger picture – Fletcher is expected to see continued growth in 2023 and their balance sheet and financial position is strong, but workers haven’t been seeing their fair share,” said Mr Wallace.
“Add to that the fact that Fletcher boss Ross Taylor recently received a personal 34% pay rise, and EasySteel workers made it clear that they were willing to take industrial action unless their concerns were taken seriously.”
“Following a vote on strike action, the company moved towards what would later be seen as an accepted outcome.”
“This settlement shows that with conviction, a group of workers can collectivise, negotiate and achieve a result that will help to support their families through tough times.”
“It has also shown that employers in the manufacturing sector need to move away from their historical low offers to ones that reflect workers’ needs “