Tegel strike averted

A workers' strike at Tegel's Bell Block factory has been avoided with today's pay negotiations progressing well, union spokesman Wayne Ruscoe says.

Tegel's Taranaki Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU) workers had threatened to strike if a resolution to a pay dispute could not be found.

It is understood the plant's 230 unionised workers asked for a five per cent wage increase to match what Tegel pays workers at other New Zealand Tegel factories.

But EPMU lead organiser Mr Ruscoe said all of Tegel's Bell Block union workers were back on the job today and negotiations between Tegel and union representatives were going well.

''We're definitely making progress,'' he said.

A resolution was expected by the end of the day or over the weekend at the latest.

''We're all pretty relieved about it.''

The mood at the negotiations was positive with both parties reaching ''a bit of a truce''.


The pay dispute had been a six-month long saga, he said.

''I think both parties can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.''

Both parties wanted to avoid disruptions, he said.

Changing a collective agreement was a long and complicated process, he said.

''There's a lot of detail to go through.''

It was looking as though Tegel would now pay Taranaki union workers the same as others in New Zealand Tegel plants, he said.

''The company seems willing to talk about that.''