EPMU members at Tegel’s New Plymouth plant have voted to accept a 7.25% pay rise over the next two and a half years, with most of the increase in place by June next year.
The deal follows two days of strike action last week as workers campaigned to lift their low wages and move towards pay parity with Tegel plants in Auckland and Christchurch. Workers occupied the plant, refusing to leave until improvements were made in the company offer.
Tegel’s New Plymouth workforce were previously paid up to 10% less than workers at other plants doing the same work, with some on as little as $14 an hour.
EPMU lead organiser Wayne Ruscoe says the pay rise is a real boost for low paid workers.
“For years Tegel workers in New Plymouth have been paid lower wages than their workmates in Auckland and Christchurch despite doing the same work. That’s simply not fair, and it’s why our members have been so determined to address this injustice.
“There’s still a way to go before we win full pay equity but this deal closes the gap significantly and our members can be proud of what they’ve achieved together.
“We are also pleased the company has accepted the pay equity issue is real, and we hope to continue to work with management to close the gap entirely.”
Mr Ruscoe says the pay rise will be activated immediately and backdated for the last six months, providing a welcome boost for families at Christmas. The workers will then receive the second part of the increase in June next year with the remainder due in June 2014.
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