EPMU and MUNZ delegates and officials met in New Plymouth on Wednesday to start planning an organisational drive in the regions oil and gas industry.
The meeting is a continuation of a trans-Tasman union initiative to organise an oil and gas industry alliance to start pushing for Australasian standards for pay and conditions.
EPMU director of organising Ged O'Connell says the oil and gas industry is run by international companies for an international market and that should mean international labour standards. "A lot of our members talk about wanting to work in the industry in New Zealand but when they can get paid so much more overseas that's a hard call."
"Wednesday's meeting was focused on getting delegates from both unions talking to each other about organising issues and starting to create a strategy to increase union density in Taranaki and increase cooperation," says O'Connell, "and once that strategy is developed it'll go to the national executive for sign-off."
It's likely that one of the first steps of the strategy will be to hold mass-membership meetings to inform members and gather feedback.