Workers at more than 100 engineering and manufacturing shops will have guaranteed pay rises for the next two years after EPMU members voted overwhelmingly to ratify the Metals & Manufacturing multi-employer collective agreement.
The agreement provides for two pay rises of 2.8% and 2.1% over the next two years, as well as increased employment protections for casual and temp workers.
"This settlement shows that despite the tough economic times, workers who belong to unions are still winning above-inflation pay increases", says EPMU manufacturing industry organiser Louisa Jones.
Ms Jones says multi-employer agreements like the Metals are a "win-win" for workers and employers, however this is at risk from the government's proposed employment law changes.
"Multi-employer agreements like the Metals mean there are common conditions and wage increases across the industry. That means companies are free to compete on quality and productivity rather than who can pay the lowest wages.
"The right for workers to bargain across their industry is absolutely crucial if we're going to build a productive, high-wage manufacturing sector in this country. Removing this right will only encourage a race to the bottom.
"That's why the EPMU and other unions will be opposing the government's plans to make it harder for workers to be part of multi-employer agreements."
Now that the Metals has been ratified the EPMU will begin its campaign to sign up subsequent parties to the agreement.
The Metals & Manufacturing MECA is the EPMU's largest multi-employer collective agreement, covering more than 1000 workers across over 100 firms.
For more information please contact:
EPMU manufacturing industry organiser Louisa Jones on 027 590 0071
EPMU communications director Neale Jones on 027 276 5146