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Union lock out threatened at port say leaked paper

Wellington based unions are already bullying and strong-arming a major local Hawke’s Bay employer the same day the government introduces new legislation to give the unions more power, says National MP Anne Tolley.

National has obtained leaked papers from the Waterfront Workers Union to Progressive Meats outlining the extreme action the union intends to take.

“This timing is no coincidence. The union has threatened Progressive Meats that it intends to block the company from exporting any goods through the port if it does not meet local union demands.

“Any such action will leave farmers produce piled up and rotting on the wharves.

“Under current legislation there is no way that the Progressive Meats dispute could spill over into secondary port action, but the Waterfront Workers Union is obviously anticipating different rules under Labour’s new proposed legislation.

“When good faith bargaining talks break down the unions revert to their tried and true tactics of the past, and regions like Hawke’s Bay pay the price.

“The port is Hawke’s Bay’s gateway for exporters. This action is a taste of things to come for the whole country under the proposed Employment Relations Bill and Hawke’s Bay is the guinea pig,” says Mrs Tolley.

Ends

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