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MAF Vets Urged To Go Back To Mediation

Federated Farmers Urges MAF Vets To Go Back To Mediation

Federated Farmers NZ Meat and Fibre Producers Chairman Chris Lester is urging Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Verification Authority (MAF VA) veterinarians to delay strike action and return to the table for further mediation. "I would urge MAF VA veterinarians to instruct their union to go back to mediation. Strike action won't resolve this issue, but it will put the meat industry at risk."

MAF Verification Agency veterinarians have given notice of industrial action in support of a 12% salary increase, together with substantial increases in allowances, shift rates and additional benefits. Industrial strike action will span the period between 3 February to 6 March 2001.

"Strike action will have far-reaching consequences - these vets are jeopardising the very industry that supports them and the economic well-being of the communities they live in, not to mention the possible animal welfare implications," said Mr Lester.

"This is the worst possible time for farmers to delay sending stock to the works. Farmers have high stocking rates at this time of the year, and those in summer-dry areas will really have to watch their feed and water."

Federated Farmers is urging farmers planning to send stock to the works over the strike period to keep in close contact with their meat processing company buyer or agent.

"These MAF VA vets need to get back to the negotiation table with a common-sense approach," Mr Lester concluded.


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