Maritime Union steps up support of locked out Progressive workers

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has boosted its support of locked out distribution workers at Progressive Enterprises with union members to contribute one hours wages per week until the dispute is settled.

Maritime Union Acting General Secretary Terry Ryan says the resolution was passed unanimously on a national conference call of all ports today.

“The Maritime Union is 100% committed to supporting the locked out workers at Progressive using all financial, industrial and political methods open to us.”

He says the meeting was briefed by a senior National Distribution Union official and heard from Maritime Union branches in affected areas.

Mr Ryan says the Maritime Union will continue to play a leading role in supporting the locked out workers, with maritime workers joining pickets in Auckland and Christchurch, and sending a delegation to Palmerston North.

“The Maritime Union is working to build international support for the locked out workers with other transport unions inside and outside New Zealand.”

There has been strong support from Australian Unions and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) based in London, says Mr Ryan.

The ITF comprises of 624 unions representing 4,500,000 transport workers in 142 countries and has placed the Progressive dispute high on its agenda.

Mr Ryan says the issue was simple.

“This is a multinational company that makes its huge profits from New Zealand workers shopping at their supermarkets, but they are trying to starve their workers into submission – and we are not going to let them get away with it.”

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