With 9000 members across nearly 3000 sites, Manufacturing is the EPMU's largest industry and covers areas including metals manufacturing, chemical manufacturing and appliance and industrial maintenance as well as the automotive industry. The Metal and Manufacturing industry's main Collective Agreement is also the EPMU's largest Multi Employer Collective Agreement (MECA).
The Metals is the EPMU's oldest and biggest MECA and covers over 1500 workers across more than 100 employers. The Metals was based on the old award and represents the benchmark for terms and conditions in the manufacturing sector.
The main focus for 2008 is to increase the size of the Metals by bringing new sites into the document. This was set back last year by the "EPIC" employment court decision which meant employers could refuse any claim to brought into the Metals as a subsequent party. This decision was overturned in late December last year which means the MECA is now back on track.
Manufacturing produces tens of billions of dollars in sales in New Zealand every year and employs more than a quarter of a million New Zealand workers. By joining the EPMU manufacturing workers are making sure they get their fair share in this industry and by negotiating onto the Metals they are ensuring they get the benchmark deal enjoyed by nearly fifteen hundred manufacturing workers around the country.
Manufacturing workers in the EPMU are affiliated internationally with the International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF) and the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM).
The manufacturing inquiry was launched in October 2012 by the Labour, Green, NZ First and Mana parties in response to the crisis in manufacturing in New Zealand.