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Meat Inspectors Stop Work

Meat Inspectors Stop Work Over Industrial Apartheid

“NUPE meat inspectors (MI) stopped work this afternoon angry at being paid less than other MI while doing exactly the same job,” said John Kerr, Acting Secretary of the National Union of Public Employees (NUPE) who represent a group of Meat Inspectors. Meat Inspectors are employed by ASURE, a State Owned Enterprise set up in 1998 from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) to run the service demanded by overseas countries we export meat to.

“NUPE’s previous Collective Agreement expired in July 2002 and extensive negotiations and mediation have failed to settle the new Agreement," said John Kerr. “Members voted at the meeting to run a campaign to persuade our employer to stop its policy of industrial apartheid and introduce equal pay for work of equal value.”

“NUPE members have been offered 24c an hour less than other workers who have already settled their Collective Agreement” said John Kerr. ”Our members believe they are being offered less because they are not in the employer preferred union.”

“ASURE states that NUPE members are paid less because their Union NUPE has declined to be contracted to develop and promote activities beyond core inspection tasks. Such activities (eg promotion of computer software) raise extra revenue for ASURE. However, NUPE feels that such agreement would potentially put Meat Inspectors’ integrity at risk. NUPE members believe the integrity of meat inspection in New Zealand needs to be transparent at all levels given the importance of the meat export trade to our economy,” said John Kerr.

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