High housing costs and low wages force working people to strike – First Union


Distribution centre workers at Auckland-based car parts supplier Brake and Transmission (BNT) walked off the job this morning – the second time in as many months – as the company continues postponing negotiations.

The distribution centre workers initiated bargaining five months ago and walked off the job last December saying the company’s nil pay offer meant they would struggle to keep up with skyrocketing house prices.

“We have been in bargaining since August and the company is offering nothing. Auckland is now one of the least affordable cities in the world when it comes to housing, ” said the workers’ representative, FIRST Union organiser Emir Hodzic.

“Low wages are pushing more and more people out of Auckland. The distribution centre workers here at BNT are feeling the pinch too. They’re struggling to sustain their families while the cost of housing keeps going up, but their wages remain the same.”

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“We’re pretty much at breaking point,” said Hodzic.

In December BNT workers were part of a “strike wave” where distribution centre workers at TV advertorial company Brand Developers TV Shop and gib board distributor CV Compton walked off the job to protest low wages.