New Zealand’s largest private sector union is calling on New Zealand’s richest man, billionaire Graeme Hart, to stop giving New Zealand a bad name in his treatment of Australian workers.
Hart’s Carter Holt Harvey has locked out 160 of its timber mill workforce in regional Victoria for over five weeks now, a move that E tū is calling heartless.
E tū Director of Industries Neville Donaldson says extremely profitable companies like Carter Holt had to live up to a high standard, no matter which side of the Tasman they operate on.
“Here’s a small provincial town, Myrtleford, where the community relies on wages from their workplace and a Kiwi company is attacking that community. It could just as easily be Kawerau, where a company’s actions could do serious damage to the town’s economy and its cohesion,” Neville says.
“All the workers in Myrtleford want is a pay rise that reflects the productivity and profitability of the site, and some pretty standard income protection so they can provide for their families if they are injured or experience serious illness.
“Carter Holt Harvey made almost $60 million off its Australian workers last year – they’re choosing greed over fairness.
“Graeme Hart demands a profit rise, but denies these workers a fair pay rise from proceeds of the timber they process.
“E tū stands in solidarity with the unions fighting for these workers to get a fair go.”
The workers at Myrtleford are represented by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU).