Factory workers locked out on May Day

Amcor PicketMultinational packaging company, Amcor, locked out more than fifty EPMU members from its North Shore site on Tuesday after they refused to accept company demands that would have put their health and safety at risk.

The lockout means the workers will be literally locked out of their workplace without pay until they submit to management’s demands. Many of these workers have been at Amcor for more than 20 years and have no other source of income.

EPMU national secretary, Andrew Little, says Amcor’s move is disgraceful.

These workers have negotiated in good faith and have been met with a level of employer militancy unseen since the Progressive lockout last year.

Amcor’s idea of ‘flexibility’ means cutting their workforce and squeezing more work out of the remaining staff. This has serious implications for the health and safety of our members and they refuse to put themselves at risk.

The Council of Trade Unions has also thrown its weight behind the workers, with CTU president, Ross Wilson, calling on Amcor to end the lockout and get back to the negotiating table.

All working New Zealanders know that this sort of bullying corporate behaviour is unfair and unacceptable.

Last year when Progressive Enterprises tried it on with supply chain workers, they provoked an unprecedented level of action from working New Zealanders and their families and communities, support which quickly became international.

The locked out workers are currently holding a 24 hour picket outside the factory. Supporters are welcome at 9 Ride Way, North Shore, Auckland.

(thanks to the EPMU for the story and photo)


2 Responses to “Factory workers locked out on May Day”

  1. 1 Tane Wilton 4 May, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    The lockout is now over, with a victory for the workers!

  2. 2 finsec 4 May, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Yeah, thanks Tane,

    That’s great news. Employers cannot be allowed to use lock outs as a legitimate form of industrial relations strategy.

    Here’s the full media release from the EPMU:

    Lockout ends with workers’ victory

    After being locked out for two and a half days Amcor workers have won a deal meeting their demands and returned to work.

    The fifty Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union members were locked out on Tuesday at noon after they refused the multinational packaging company’s attempts to cut staffing numbers to unsafe levels.

    EPMU national secretary Andrew Little says the workers can return to their site with their heads held high.

    “These workers were prepared to stick this out as long as it took but they’ll be relieved this dispute has come to a close so quickly.

    “Our members tried to negotiate in good faith and were met with the most extreme and militant response an employer can offer. It’s good to see common sense has prevailed and they can now get back to doing their jobs under fair and equitable circumstances.”

    The deal consisted of appropriate staffing levels without redundancies, an extra week’s service and shift leave, an industry standard pay rise and a day’s pay to compensate for some of the lockout time.

    Members voted unanimously to support the deal.


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