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We are a proud union and have every right to be!
Our leadership, organisers and members have played a prominent role in many historical gains for working people. The Northern Drivers Union, led by the late Bill Andersen, and the Northern Storeworkers Union, led by our previous National Secretary Mike Jackson, were involved in many of these wins.
The Storeworkers Union was involved in a six week strike at Carter Holt Harvey in 1977. There were also one day stoppages at other companies. Container allowances were won. Today container allowances vary from $20 to $100 per week depending on the number of containers handled and the rate, making up a significant part of many workers' take home pay.
Three Weeks Annual Holiday
The Storeworkers Union six week strike at Robert Stone Limited won the third weeks holiday in the early 1970's. It was later passed into law.
In 1968 the Storeworkers Union, boiler operators, engineers, and electricians unions won a 2 + 2 redundancy agreement after a dispute at Mason Brothers. The Storeworkers Union again in the 1970s at General Foods - Tip Top achieved a 4 + 2 redundancy agreement. This has been built on over the years so that many workers now get some compensation when they are laid off.
As the result of a one week strike in 1977 at High Grade Case, the Storeworkers Union won swandri jackets for workers. Shorter stoppages at many other sites then cemented in the provision of swandris.
Average Rates of Pay for Holidays
The Storeworkers Union won average rates of pay in a strike at the Glassworks in 1967. (Mike Jackson was a storeman at the Glassworks at the time).
Various bans were put on the use of VDUs by Storeworkers Union members, and it was also part of a claim during a six week strike at Nissan in 1986.
The Storeworkers Union pushed for training, and lists of dangerous chemicals to be displayed, along with correct handling procedures.
The Northern Drivers Union ran 'ruling rate campaigns' among drivers in the 1960s and 1970s to achieve parity of wages across different jobs, before an industry allowance was achieved in the Drivers Award. The allowance was gradually increased, but was bumped up considerably in 1987 to $32.50 a week, and by 1990 was around $40.00 a week.
Your Union was involved in the campaign that resulted in equal pay for women being introduced into law in 1974. Although women still earn 20% less than men on average, it is now illegal to pay a woman less than a man in the same job. There used to be male and female rates in many awards until Unions combined to get rid of this discrimination.
Your Union was part of the campaign, along with construction workers and others, to gain a public holiday on Waitangi Day.
Won by Storeworkers Union members.
In 1968, Northern Drivers Union members at Winstones Quarry, Lunn Avenue, Auckland, took strike action over sick pay. At the time many others thought that this was a fairly radical demand - to get paid while you were off work sick! But the Drivers Union stuck to the claim and a breakthrough was made - by working people acting together in their union.
In the 1980s NZ Pulp & Paper Union members took strike action and won Tangihanga leave. It is now part of every workers legal right.
Some of these gains were clawed back under the years of the Employment Contracts Act, but since the return of a Labour Coalition Government and the current Employment Relations Act union members are again winning back entitlements.