Solidarity Library

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


MetroGlass give 4%, 4by 2, in response to Union petition

It’s been 6 months since Solidarity presented Metro management with a petition signed by more than 80% of the South Auckland branch requesting a 10x2 redundancy provision to be included into their contracts. Metro GlassTech is pleased to finally announce a 4x2 redundancy policy. That’s great news! But it does indeed fall short of the request for 10x2 by 85 workers. The offer by Metro is, as they claim, a comprehensive industry based standard. Yet Solidarity Union struggle to understand what an industry based redundancy policy has got to do with Metro Workers!

When considering redundancy in general treats no worker in one particular industry any differently to a worker in another, we wonder why Metro have concluded that 4x2 is appropriate. Being made redundant is the same as it would be in any job in any industry. And we wonder that although Metro appreciates the patience of staff, was it at all necessary for us to wait 6 months for a response? Was it at all necessary for the company to spend $20,000 or more on a lawyer to investigate amending the clause?

Was it at all necessary that Metro would demonstrate an absolute blatant disregard for the voices of their own workers on such a serious issue? Metro management would have you believe that there is no real threat of redundancy now or in the future. Yet we see it all around us! According to a local newspaper article that addressed our picket outside Metro GlassTech Headquarters in March, Daryl Mac commented that the union was blowing things out of proportion on the matter or redundancy. We disagree.

All the union knows is that the company was sold last year which increases the risk of job loses. Redundancies are a cold hard reality and make no mistake; they could easily happen here in spite of what management is telling you. Your contracts are not founded on a person’s word! Especially, thank goodness, one who says one thing then does another! Simply being told that no redundancies are intended is absolutely unacceptable. A 10x2 redundancy provision will do much to keep the powers that be to their word!

We also wonder if there are workers out there that have no idea what a 10x2 redundancy package means. Let’s elaborate on that for you. 10x2 simply means that when made redundant, for your first year of service at Metro, you will receive 10 weeks pay at your current rate. In addition, for every year served after that, you will receive 2 weeks pay for each of those years. For example, 5 years service on a rate of say $18 per hour will work out to 1st year = $7200 plus 4 years = $5760. That’s a total of $12,960. 10 years, a total of $20,160. 15 years service will amount to $27,360. Hope that helps.

No one can argue that the union is up against some pretty tough negotiators at Metro. Management has failed to negotiate a health and safety induction required by law for Union Organizers to enter the premises. Members of management attended our meetings whose presence effectively proved too intimidating for workers to speak up with any of their concerns. Yet the opportunity for the workers to have their say was the whole purpose of the meeting. Management claim that the invitation was for all. Indeed it was, yet the invitation was for all those who were interested.

It was obvious from the beginning that Metro management were not interested in any union becoming involved in their business. We are not even allowed to erect our own notice board! We also requested a paid consultation meeting with the 85 signatories of the petition to discuss the company’s proposal. We have now, 6 months later learned that it is 4x2. To date, the company has still not come back to us with a reply! Yet regardless, we continue our fight to gain better conditions for workers that we believe, are entitled to.

You have been told in the past that there would be some exciting new changes happening. Where are they? You were told by Cameron Gregory to give him until Christmas 06 as apparently he had some exciting new plans! Where are they? You were told when workers were packing up and leaving for National Glass that those who stayed loyal to Metro would be rewarded! Have you yet received your reward? No, you haven’t! You’re still waiting aren’t you?

This year you will receive a pay rise of 4%. Inflation has been calculated at 4.1%. That is not including the rise in petrol and housing etc. So, if you accept 4% you are essentially accepting a pay cut! We simply advise you to hold off on signing your contract. You have a legal right to do so. In fact the company will inform you of this and encourage you to seek independent advice. Solidarity Union say, “We will not wait any longer for any so called ‘exciting changes’ or ‘rewards for our loyalty’. We will form a collective and we encourage you to join with us!” It’s about you and your families.

At no time will you ever betray Metro by going Union. Your loyalty must first and foremost be to yourself! Under a Collective Employment Contract, we will be negotiating a 10x2 redundancy clause and an 8% pay rise. Stand with us! We gain our strength in numbers. Just look at what we have accomplished so far just as we are! Can Metro afford to pay what we ask? Of course! Their annual turn over is $140 million. Catalyst Investments is worth billions! And to think that it is you and your sweat, workmanship and dedication that generates that money! That just doesn’t seem right now does it? For your own sake, please reconsider signing when the contract renewal comes around.

<< Home


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?