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Affco Dispute Escalates over Easter

19 March 2012

NEW ZEALAND - Affco meat processing company, which is at the centre of a pay and conditions dispute with its employees, has told union members it will not pay holiday pay to unionised workers who are not subject to lockout notice but who join a strike or work bans over the Easter holiday.

The New Zealand Meat Workers Union has announced a 48 hour strike in "solidarity" with 1000 locked out workers from Thursday.

The strike is one of several since Affco indefinitely locked out about 760 unionised workers from five North Island plants on 29 February.

The number of locked out workers has since increased to about 1000 and six plants, according to Fairfax NZ News.

The unions have released a letter sent to memebers that says that the company needs to plan on union members not subject to lockout to turn up for work in the weeks leading to Easter and the week following, in order to plan livestock flows and meet customer orders.

Affco would prefer to pay the holidays and have everyone at work, the letter said.

All employees engaged for work on Good Friday and Easter Monday are usually paid a full day's wages for each day.

Affco said it had been able to continue operating the plants despite the lockout and strikes because a "significant" number of workers are on individual contracts.

TheMeatSite News Desk



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