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Media Releases

Christchurch Chep workers strike for national pay parity

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Workers at the Chep pallet plant in Christchurch are going on strike on Thursday 10 July, demanding pay parity with Chep’s Wiri pallet plant in Auckland, according to FIRST Union, the union for workers in the transport and logistics sector.

Chep is an Australian-based company that has operated in New Zealand since 1974, employing 33 union members at the Christchurch site.

Bullet Freight workers laid-off

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An estimated 200 employees of Bullet Freight Systems lost their jobs yesterday following the company going into receivership last Friday evening (4 July), according to FIRST Union.

Bullet Freight Systems is a nationwide logistics company with depots in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Nelson, Blenheim, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Hamilton businesses let down redundant Huttons workers: 40 still without work

Date of Release: 
Saturday, June 28, 2014

Hamilton businesses have let down the 125 Huttons workers who were made redundant at the end of March this year according their union, FIRST Union.

“After the closure of the Huttons site FIRST Union funded a Redundancy Support Coordinator for two months,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.

Bad and good news for Thames Timber workers

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The announcement this afternoon that Southern Cross Forest Products Thames Timber Ltd (Thames Timber) will be sold to Profiles Woodproducts Limited has been dampened by an announced concurrent restructuring, says the union representing workers in the wood sector.

Southern Cross has been in receivership since 3 March this year and scores of workers have already lost their jobs in the Otago/Southland mills.

Union applauds NZ supermarkets’ stance on slavery

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The union representing retail workers applauds both New Zealand supermarket chains (Progressive Enterprises’ Countdown and Foodstuffs’ New World and Pak’n’Save) for taking a strong stance against alleged slave labour in global prawn supply chains.

Union forestry campaign showing dramatic drop in incidents

Date of Release: 
Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A snapshot of Worksafe New Zealand’s Tree Felling Project contains both good and bad news, said FIRST Union General Secretary Robert Reid.

On the one hand it shows a dramatic drop in the number of serious harm incident notifications between 1 January and 31 May, 46 in 2014 compared with 82 in the corresponding 2013 period. The fatality rate has dropped even more dramatically, from 6 in the 2013 period to just 1 in the 2014 period.

Union shocked at Postie Announcement

Date of Release: 
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The announcement of Postie Plus Group Limited (Administrators appointed) late Wednesday that it is closing 12 stores and making 64 staff redundant has been greeted with shock by FIRST Union, which represents Postie Plus workers.

“What has happened is highly irregular,” said Robert Reid, General Secretary of FIRST Union.

Review Panel reflects union concerns about forestry safety crisis

Date of Release: 
Friday, June 6, 2014

The union representing forestry workers feels vindicated that its concerns have been reflecting in the Public Consultation Document released today by the Independent Forestry Safety Review.

For the last two years FIRST Union and the NZ Council of Trade Unions have highlighted the safety crisis that has been unfolding in our forestry industry. In the previous five years the forestry industry has claimed almost thirty lives and caused almost 1000 serious harm injuries.

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