Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Good news for supermarket workers

25 days ago, Progressive Enterprises locked out its distribution workers in an effort to force them to surrender their right to collective bargaining and their demand for a national collective agreement. The lock-out is a calculated attempt to starve the workers into submission; however, it seems to be failing. The public have rallied round to support the workers, while the shelves at Progressive's supermarkets are getting progressively emptier.

According to the Sunday Star-Times, the NDU has now raised over $200,000 in donations from the public and other unions. More importantly, it is now getting workers to pledge ongoing support for the duration of the dispute. At one Auckland workplace, 1500 workers have pledged to donate an hour's wages every week for the duration - around $30,000 a week. If they can repeat that in other workplaces, then I don't think there'll be any chance of the lock-out succeeding; the only people Progressive will be starving will be themselves.