13 Oct 2008

Recession forces workers to strike - union

6:46 am on 13 October 2008

The National Distribution Union says claims members are being forced to take industrial action because of the recession.

The union was involved in strikes at Turners & Growers, the Glen Innes Pak 'N Save and Farmers in Manukau City on Saturday.

NDU national secretary Laila Harre describes the pay deals offered to workers as laughable.

She claims the current economic conditions have made it absolutely necessary for members to seek increases.

"Over the last few years, people have been able to work longer hours to make up for what New Zealand has experienced for some time now, and that is very low wages.

"With the downturn, they can no longer work extra hours. They're having their hours cut, casual workers are being laid off - and so their basic rate of pay is more and more important."

Ms Harre says further industrial action at all three businesses is likely.