Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Meat workers welcome ERA changes

Meat Workers around Aotearoa New Zealand are welcoming the passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill into law today and look forward to its implementation in 2019. Of particular concern to some meat workers was the weakening of the specific right to rest and meal breaks passed by the last National Government.

"These changes have affected meat workers in a way that has impacted on our health and safety " says Kara Iraia, Union Secretary at AFFCO Manawatu and Boning Room Packer.

"We work in a tough job, on our feet, in gumboots on hard concrete floors, standing for hours at a time. We are under pressure every day to meet stock tallies and throughputs. Breaks are important for meat workers and we welcome certainty around the timing and length of breaks that means our health and safety can’t be compromised by expecting workers to work longer production runs in an already tough industry," says Kara.

Graham Cooke, National Secretary of the union for Meat Workers, NZMWU says that other changes in the bill will have a positive impact for the 22,000 union members working in an important NZ export industry.

"Access provisions have not been a problem with most companies, but at least one major company has used the changes implemented by the last National Government to deny workers the right to speak with a union representative. This has resulted in expensive court actions and massive fines for that company, but the illegal behaviour continues," says Graham Cooke.

"We also welcome the recognition of union delegates to do their work on site representing workers. In our industry, where meat processing plants are located in small rural towns, on-site union delegates play a critical part in the smooth running of the works. These workers are volunteers, elected by their fellow union members. Many are leaders in their communities, including coaching the local sports teams, on the local school board and active in their marae.

"For many meat companies and the NZMWU, it will be business as usual. For those outliers who continue to oppose the rights of workers to join unions and collectively bargain, using every means possible, this will be a wake-up call." says Graham Cooke.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Policy Statement: 'Wellbeing Of NZers At The Heart Of Budget Priorities'

“We want a wellbeing focus to drive the decisions we make about Government policies and Budget initiatives. This means looking beyond traditional measures - such as GDP - to a wider set of indicators of success,” Grant Robertson said. More>>

ALSO:

Short Of 2017 Record: Insurers Pay $226m Over Extreme Weather

Insurers have spent more than $226 million this year helping customers recover from extreme weather, according to data from the Insurance Council of NZ (ICNZ). More>>

Environment Commissioner: Transparent Overseer Needed To Regulate Water Quality

Overseer was originally developed as a farm management tool to calculate nutrient loss but is increasingly being used by councils in regulation... “Confidence in Overseer can only be improved by opening up its workings to greater scrutiny.” More>>

ALSO:

Deal Now Reached: Air NZ Workers Vote To Strike

Last week union members voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in response to the company’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime. More>>

ALSO: