Winstone Wallboards, a division of the Fletcher Building empire and the manufacturer of GIB plasterboards has told unions that they want to cut back their Penrose, Auckland operation from four shifts to three, resulting in redundancies. The unions issued the following statement in response:
Redundancies are NOT inevitable!
Redundancy is affecting more and more workers around the country as employers use the pretext of economic recession to throw more workers on the dole queue. As workers we are not responsible for the crisis in the system, yet we are being asked to pay the price for its failure.
Why have none of the employers so keen on redundancy considered the rational and humane alternative of reducing work hours without loss of earnings. That way we could share the available work around and have more free time without putting any of our workmates out of a job. We often hear those in authority positions bleating on about “Work-Life balance”, but when an opportunity comes for them to actually do something about it, they refuse to do the right thing, for fear of it eating into their profits.
Of course the building construction industry is especially vulnerable to crashes, dominated as it is by profit-hungry developers and get-rich-quick finance companies. The government should be implementing a massive state housing, hospital and school building programme to take up the slack in the industry.
The solution to the slump is simple: cut work hours, not jobs or pay!
Issued by the combined unions at Winstone Wallboards: AWUNZ, BTU, EPMU & NDU