September 14, 2022
Purex workers get inflation-proof deal
Pulp and Paper Workers Union at Essity’s Kawerau mill have voted this morning to accept a revised offer from the company, ending a six week dispute.
The Purex manufacturer locked out 145 workers on August 9 rather than offer a pay deal which would meet the rising cost of living.
The company’s revised offer matches a recommendation from the Employment Relations Authority that followed several days of facilitated bargaining.
The deal keeps workers’ incomes ahead of forecast inflation for the next three years, with a 5 percent increase and a $4,000 lump sum in 2022, a 4.5 percent increase and a $3,000 lump sum in 2023 and a 4 percent increase in 2024.
Union secretary Tane Phillips says the workers refused to be intimidated by the company’s behaviour, which included blocking workers from accessing their own retirement savings and targeting individual workers with legal threats to pay damages.
He thanked the Council of Trade Unions for its support as well as Swedish unions and the global union body IndustriALL for putting pressure on Essity’s head office in Stockholm.
Mr Phillips says the workers will hold a karakia at the gates on Monday morning before heading back to work with their heads held high.