Thursday, September 21, 2006

Because the union made them strong

And so it's over. After 4 weeks, Progressive Enterprises has reached a settlement with their locked-out distribution workers. And while neither side can claim total victory, looking at the settlement terms, it looks as if the workers won. While they didn't get a national collective agreement, they got the next best thing: three agreements with the same terms, including pay parity between all three centres within two years, and grandfathering of current pay rates for existing Palmerston North workers so no-one is left worse off. They also gained above-inflation pay-rises for the next three years, 5 weeks annual leave for senior staff, and a $1000 interest-free loan to help them cover the costs of being locked out. And they got all this because they stuck together - the union made them strong.

More from Capitalism Bad, Tree Pretty here


What excellent news. I posted this at Maia's, but I love Mermaid Avenue so much I'll post it here too:

I guess i planted some long lonesome
Seed of a song
Way down inside me long ago
And now i can't remember when it was
But it joined up with the rest of them and grows
It's such a little song it don't compare
With all your big ones you hear everywhere
But when it dawns way in the back of your mind
The big ones are made up of the little kind

Union song. union battled.
All added up. won us what we got now

I can't even start to look around me here
Without hearing this song
And seeing all of us first separated,
Hurt, apart and afraid
And hungry for the union
And so we kept on
Singing and working, fighting till we got it.
And this is the big union song i guess i hear.

We fought there at your place
We fought there on your ship
And i guess if you missed out on
The fight for our union,
You missed out on one awful big step
Us people took.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/21/2006 05:38:00 PM

More is exaggerating it a tad - but thanks :)

Pablo I've listened to Solidarity Forever, Union Maid, Step by Step, Which Side Are You On (2 versions), Just My Hands and Casey Jones - I haven't even broken out the Billy Bragg yet, it's going to be a long evening

Posted by Maia : 9/21/2006 11:10:00 PM

What happens to the $200K donated over the past 4 weeks?

Posted by Gooner : 9/22/2006 09:57:00 PM

Gooner, I shudder to think! The NDU lost their bottom line to PEL and have turned this "loss" into a glorious victory.

Funny thing is PEL never thought it was a battle and got exactly what they wanted in the end.

Trust this lot to run around in circles over nothing :)

Posted by Just my opinion : 9/22/2006 10:56:00 PM