Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Feltex workers at Riccarton have gone on a Wildcat Strike and are occupying the factory. They were told yesterday that their factory was going to close and they were all going to be made redundant (There are good interviews on checkpoint (audio link).

Feltex was put into receivership a few weeks ago and bought out of receivership on October 3 by Godfrey Hirst. The union is currently in negotiations with Godfrey Hirst about the redundancy payments, and new wages and conditions. Godfrey Hirst is currently only offering the Riccarton workers a maximum of $15,000. Under the old collective agreement with Feltex some workers were entitled to more than $50,000 redundancy. Redundancy isn't something generous employers give out - it's an entitlement. In previous collective agreement negotiations workers would have settled for lower wage increases in order to get the safety and insurance that redundancy payments give. That entitlement has been taken from them. Godfrey Hirst has bought Feltex very cheaply - and are not prepared to pay workers what they were entitled to.

The workers do have some negotiating power here - the carpet that they're not making is important orders that Feltex needs to fill. It's fantastic that the workers are fighting to get what they're entitled to. If you leave a message of support here I'll try and make sure they get it.


  1. Anonymous2:59 am

    Solidarity from NYC!

  2. I don't understand why the transfer of undertakings legislation passed about a month back doesn't apply here? Does it not take effect until Dec 1 or something stupid like that?