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Herlihy blames vets' strike on union expectations

Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture spokesperson

15 December 2001

Herlihy blames vets' strike on unrealistic union expectations

In a speech in Parliament this afternoon National's Agriculture spokesperson Gavan Herlihy stated that the pending MAF vets' strike is a direct result of the Government creating unrealistic union expectations in its passing of last year's Employment Relations Act.

"You created the problem - you go and sort it out," Mr Herlihy said to his opposite number, the Minister of Agriculture Jim Sutton.

"Its shameful that the Employers' Federation has been left today to lodge an appeal to avert the strike while the Government impotently sits on its hands."

In his speech Mr Herlihy demanded that the Government not agree to a 'soft settlement'.

"Farmers will ultimately pay for any wage settlement the Government negotiates with its employees - the MAF vets. At stake is more than just disruption to our pre-Easter lamb deliveries to Europe. Our reputation as a reliable supplier of quality meat products is on the line.

"It's not just the farmers who will suffer from the actions of 120 Government-employed vets, it's the thousands of meat workers who stand to get laid off and the provincial towns that will feel the chill as the meat workers' wage cheques evaporate," Mr Herlihy told Parliament.

Ends

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