25 Mar 2020

Sistema to pay workers striking until Sunday night

9:42 pm on 25 March 2020

Plastic storage box maker Sistema will continue to pay workers who walked off the factory floor on a health and safety strike till Sunday night.

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The workers will still be paid, according to an E Tū Union leader. Photo: 123RF

E Tū Union said workers at the company's Auckland plant were concerned about access to personal protective equipment, and that they were standing less than a metre apart for hours at a time.

They walked off the job on Tuesday.

Its campaign team leader Mat Danaher said union representatives met with Sistema on Wednesday and agreed striking workers would be paid till Sunday night.

"So there is no loss of wages for anyone, provisionary until Sunday night. Then we understand WorkSafe is going in tomorrow to meet the management and look at what systems can be put in place so things can be done safely," he said.

Danaher said workers will return to work when it is safe to do so, and only if Sistema is deemed an essential service during the lockdown.

"Workers do have the power, if they stick together, to say no we don't want to do work that puts us in danger."

RNZ requested comment from Sistema but no statement was provided before deadline.