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Long wait at Route and Retail

Article Date: 
Monday, September 19, 2011

If workers were paid for their patience Junior Ipo would be a rich man.

Junior is NDU delegate at Route and Retail Distribution which is the transport arm of Foodstuffs.

Junior first began work for Foodstuffs 23 years ago. He joined the union in 1991 but was stuck on an individual employment
agreement until July this year when the NDU and the company signed their first collective agreement to cover the
drivers.

“It has taken 10 years to get this agreement,” he said.

“We were trying to get one for years with Foodstuffs. Then Route and Retail was split off about four and a half years ago and we had to start again.”

“I was the delegate and we only had a few members. We finally got the numbers up to 14 and got an agreement, but we had to go through a lot along the way. I hadn’t had a raise since 2006.”

Junior said Route and Retail have branches in Whangarei and Rotorua as well as Auckland, and supply stores through much of the North Island. He is optimistic the union will only get stronger.

“I want to try to get union membership numbers up in all the branches. We have delegates in the Auckland branches now which means I don’t have to do everything myself and I think we can get another 20 members.”

(Source: National Distribution Union)

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