Locked-out Godfrey Hirst workers continue industrial action at retail sites
Fifty union workers at carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst who are currently locked out of their jobs after fighting for a
living wage have today been continuing their industrial action throughout the company’s retail sites in Auckland, FIRST
Union said today.
“These workers are feeling a lot of ambiguity about their futures after trying to negotiate living wages for all staff,
and Godfrey Hirst have massively overstepped by locking them out in response,” says Jared Abbott, FIRST Union Secretary
for Transport, Logistics and Manufacturing.
“After yesterday’s lockout notice and resulting picket action, they know that the community supports them, and that New
Zealanders are watching with interest.”
“They’re experienced and skilled workers who aren’t going to fold at the first sign of aggression from their employer –
they believe in a living wage, and they want to support their younger colleagues with families who are just getting
started in the industry.”
Today, members continued their industrial action outside several Godfrey Hirst retail sites throughout Auckland.
Higher quality versions of the attached images from today’s industrial action can be downloaded HERE and HERE.
Members attending yesterday’s picket like FIRST Union delegate Lovie Thompson spoke of the importance of the next
generation of workers knowing they can unionise and negotiate fair wages without fear of undue retribution from their
employer. Today’s continuing industrial action demonstrates their resolve and dedication to fight for a living wage.
“Godfrey Hirst are trying to bully and intimate staff into accepting wages they can’t live off by locking them out of
their work,” says Mr Abbott.
Putting Workers First
FIRST Union is New Zealand's second-largest private sector trade union.
Formed in 2011 after the merger between the National Distribution Union and Finsec, FIRST Union represents 27,000
workers in the Finance, Industrial (Textile and Wood), Retail, Stores, Transport and Logistics sectors.
FIRST Union is also affiliated to the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and runs several networks including the Union
Network of Migrants, the Runanga, Fono and Womens' Committee. In 2015 FIRST Union launched Samoa First Union, Samoa's
only private sector union.
Join FIRST Union today for higher pay, better conditions and more say at work.