Strike action by workers at pallet supplier CHEP in Auckland continues today following revelations the company served an unenforceable trespass order on strikers to prevent them using the footpath and break the picket line, FIRST Union said today.
“CHEP workers have not been deterred by the attempt to shut down the picket line, and a trespass order served by the Police on behalf of the company purporting to provide authority from Auckland Council to prevent use of the surrounding footpath was quickly revealed to be inaccurate, and was retracted by Police,” said Mark Muller, FIRST Union Secretary for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
The company also attempted to serve a trespass notice to union officials to prevent them from entering the site in order to resume negotiations over pay and conditions, including a living wage for all workers, Mr Muller said.
“Most delivery drivers who have arrived at the service centre have quickly turned away after learning of the picket, and CHEP workers continue to hold the line in the face of considerable aggression and attempts at intimidation by managers at the site.
“This big multinational company is going to considerable lengths and incurring great expense in an attempt to break workers’ solidarity and return to the status quo, which is never going to happen.
“Our delegates continue to seek fair and transparent bargaining with the company to recognise their hard work, address longstanding issues relating to overtime and weekend work, and compensate for big increases in the cost of living.”
FIRST Union has also registered a formal complaint with CHEP’s corporate office for CHEP Asia Pacific, India, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, regarding the behaviour of one of their employees, who Mr Muller said had made offensive statements and behaved aggressively in an attempt to harass and intimidate workers at the site.
CHEP is an Australian multinational pallet supplier with considerable responsibility to New Zealand’s supply chain. Earlier this month, members of Unite Union in the UK held a rally at CHEP UK’s Trafford Park site after a three-month dispute in which strike action has been consistent.
“Every day that CHEP continues with this nonsense, workers at the site grow closer and more resolved to continue strike action until the company returns to the negotiating table and seriously listens to them,” said Mr Muller.