EPMU announces strike action at NZ Post subsidiary
Workers at New Zealand Post’s largest subsidiary ECL (Express Couriers Limited) will employ go-slow tactics as part of industrial action against their state-owned employer.
The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) has announced strike action after negotiations for a new collective agreement covering processing, admin and finance employees at ECL broke down.
ECL operates the Courier Post, Pace and Contract Logistics businesses; more than 800 of its employees are EPMU members.
The striking employees at ECL have started off their protest with a “work-to-rule” in Wellington and Christchurch.
EPMU national post and logistics organiser Anna Kenny said members were determined to have their claims heard.
“Industrial action is never an easy choice but ECL have refused to listen to our members’ claims and our members have decided to give the company a wake-up call,” she said.
“Despite the recession ECL is a profitable company and our members have worked with them in the past to make sure of that, now it’s their turn to share in the gains.”
She said it was disappointing to have to take industrial action for the first time in the EPMU’s five years of dealing with the company.
ECL chief executive Mark Gibson echoed this sentiment: “We’re disappointed that the EPMU has chosen this course of action as we’ve always had a good relationship with them. We have offered to sit down again with them and continue negotiations.”
Like many New Zealand companies ECL had felt the contraction of the economy and wasn’t as profitable as it had been previously, he said.
“However, we believe our offer to the Union to be fair in light of the current economic conditions.
“We look forward to reconvening with the EMPU to finalise our agreement with them.”
ECL anticipates that it will be able to maintain normal business operations during the industrial action.