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Meat Workers Locked Out as Talks Break Down

01 March 2012

NEW ZEALAND - Talks between meat processing company Affco, which is owend by the Talley's family and the New Zealand Meat Workers union broke down this week.

Following the breakdown the company locked out hundreds of employees in a dispute about a new employment contract.

The company issued the indefinite lockout notice for 762 unionised employees after the mediation broke down on Tuesday.

AFFCO is offering a 4.3 per cent pay rise over two years, but only if a new collective agreement is signed without dispute and is adhered to.

The Meat Workers union said it was astounded at the mediation when the bargaining team from Tallies confirmed they were not at mediation to bargain a new collective agreement, but simply to meet the requirements of the Employment Relations Act to meet when a lockout notice has been issued.

Talley’s issued the lock out notice to the Meat Workers Union in order to introduce new provisions in the collective agreement.

The union said the company acknowledges this would give them the ability to unilaterally reduce workers pay without agreement.

Meat Workers Union National Secretary Dave Eastlake expressed dismay that these workers are being treated this way “by a wholly owned New Zealand company that is dominant in the New Zealand food sector.”

“Our members will really suffer in the weeks of this lockout and the company is showing no respect for how hard they work and how loyal they are” Dave Eastlake said.

“We are now left with no choice but to organise a campaign targeting this company and calling on the people of New Zealand to support us to get a fair deal,” Mr Eastlake said.

TheMeatSite News Desk

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