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Chep strikers march against unfair wages

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Brambles owned CHEP Pallets staff in Christchurch are striking again after FIRST Union members have voted unanimously to walk off the job at the Hornby plant today at 2pm. Striking workers have decided to march to the local shopping mall to draw attention to their struggle for equal pay with CHEP’s Auckland Wiri Plant.

The ballot to strike extends until next Sunday and will be fully carried out unless an improved and acceptable offer is forthcoming from the company. Brambles is a billion dollar transnational company operating in Aotearoa for many years but is treating staff unfairly between its CHEP sites. The pay gaps are significant. For example members on a grade 2 in Christchurch currently receive $17.12/hr compared with Wiri members taking home $19.24 doing the same job. Members in Christchurch want at least $1.50 /hour increase to start bridging the pay gap. Members are struggling financially. One member with dependant kids (including grandchildren) isn’t coping on $17.12 / hour and paying $550/week rent. This is the reality of our members lives and the company needs to wake up to it. Southern Union Secretary Paul Watson says “ as a billion dollar global corporate Brambles (CHEP) has got to stop treating workers this way. The pursuit of excessive profit at the expense of those who generate that profit living decent lives is one of the perverse features of our capitalist economy. CHEP know they can do a lot better – they simply choose not to. Is a fair and reasonable distribution of profit really too much to ask for?. Our CHEP members don’t think so and that’s why they are stopping work and marching. Watson says CHEP members are taking to the streets tomorrow to make their voices heard. They want a fair and equitable employment agreement built on the principle “ same work same pay” and seek redress from an unjust pay system.It's shameful that Brambles CHEP hasn’t become a Living Wage Employer like others celebrated around the country yesterday. CHEP NZ profit deposits one million dollars a month into BRAMBLES corporate coffers. Our members claim will cost just 3 days of one month’s profit. The other 11 Months is clean profit for the company. Members aren’t asking for much. Indeed Brambles could easily afford to lift all our members wages to the living wage of $20.55 overnight and still do very well thank you very much! “----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Contacts, Strike and Protest March details.Strike commences 2pm Tuesday 4th. Concludes 12.01am Sunday 9th September.Strikers March to Hornby Mall and back begins at 2pm Tuesday 4th outside CHEPS plant at 95 Shands Rd, Hornby, Christchurch.

  • Source: A FirstUnion release