Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Uncertainty of six week lockout starts tonight

Media Release: Dairy Workers Union
Thursday September 24, 2009.

Uncertainty of six week lockout starts tonight for Open Country Cheese workers

Open Country Cheese worker Cheyenne Kaukau is disappointed with his company’s refusal to negotiate with them for a collective agreement, as workers face the uncertainty of a six week lockout period which starts tonight.

“All we are asking for is job security, and a fair collective employment deal, that’s what the negotiations were about.”

Cheyenne, who is Tainui and Ngati Haua, said that the changes the company were proposing would have seen them loose their permanent jobs and suffer big cuts to their income.

“After May they were going to put us off, and then put us on seasonal contracts, but also drop our pay level to $16.50 an hour. The impact would be quite considerable,” he said.

“Lots of people have mortgages. At the moment, with our pay rates we’re all trying hard to make ends meet, but that sort of a drop would have been really difficult.”

He said for both operators and packers this would see big cuts to their pay, in addition to losing income for large parts of the year. Roster changes the company wanted would also see them being required to work 12 hour days for 6 days in a row at short notice.

Dairy Workers Union National Secretary James Ritchie says that Open Country Cheese should come up with a decent reason why its workers have been locked out, after the workers’ strike ended four days ago, and that their ‘environmental sabotage’ smokescreen was wearing thin.

“There is a camera over the environmental pond area. If the company has any evidence of environmental sabotage, they should release it immediately.”

“This is from a company who has a highly questionable environmental track record. Let’s not forget that in 2007 Open Country Cheese was convicted and fined $55,000 for illegally dumping 250,000 litres of rotten milk in big pit dug by company, frequently dumping excess wastewater on to surrounding land and several other wilful offῥnces.

“And this year they were fined $11,000 over the illegal dumping of up to 20,000 litres of sludge which contaminated local waterways.”

“Open Country needs to stop trying to divert attention away from the fact that they are putting their stated goal of locking workers out of a collective agreement ahead of environmental protections and rights at work.”

The Employment Court will tomorrow hear an urgent case over whether Open Country has being acting unlawfully in their use of replacement labour while workers are on strike or locked out.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Marsden Pipeline Rupture: Report Calls For Supply Improvements, Backs Digger Blame

The report makes several recommendations on how the sector can better prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from an incident. In particular, we consider it essential that government and industry work together to put in place and regularly practise sector-wide response plans, to improve the response to any future incident.

Most significantly, we found that Auckland’s jet fuel supply is currently not sufficiently resilient, when assessed against the specific resilience standards we developed during our work, and from a public interest perspective. More>>


PM's Post-Cab: "A Way Forward"

At Monday's post-cabinet press conference, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a number of actions in response to the Labour Party's mishandling of sexual assault complaints. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Allegations Of Left Wing Media Bias

“Left wing bias” accusations date back at least to the mid 1990s... The charge of left wing bias was ridiculous then, and is ridiculous now. More>>

Next Wave Of Reforms: Gun Registration And Licensing Changes Announced

“The Bill includes a register to track firearms and new offences and penalties that can be applied extraterritorially for illegal manufacture, trafficking, and for falsifying, removing, or altering markings – which are a new requirement under the Firearms Protocol.” More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Mishandling Of The Alleged Sexual Assault

The focus of Labour’s alleged sexual assault scandal has now shifted from the party organisation to the Beehive... This is now a crisis of Beehive management and response, not something occurring at a distance within the party organisation. More>>


'History Rectified': Rua Kēnana To Be Pardoned

An official pardon for Tūhoe prophet and leader Rua Kēnana is one step closer after the Te Pire kia Unuhia te Hara kai Runga i a Rua Kēnana: Rua Kēnana Pardon Bill was read in Parliament for the first time today. More>>


Mental Health: Initial Mental Health And Wellbeing Commission Appointed

The Government has announced details of the initial Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission which will play a key role in driving better mental health in New Zealand. More>>


people outside the meeting house at WaitangiEducation: NZ History To Be Taught In All Schools

“We have listened carefully to the growing calls from New Zealanders to know more about our own history and identity. With this in mind it makes sense for the National Curriculum to make clear the expectation that our history is part of the local curriculum and marau ā kura in every school and kura,” Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Sexual Assault Claims Mishandled: Labour Party President Resigns

Jacinda Ardern: “This morning I was provided some of the correspondence from complainants written to the party several months ago. It confirms that the allegations made were extremely serious, that the process caused complainants additional distress, and that ultimately, in my view, the party was never equipped to appropriately deal with the issue…" More>>


Budget Process: Wellbeing To Be Enshrined In Law

Legislation has been introduced in Parliament to ensure every Government considers the wellbeing of New Zealanders when creating future budgets. More>>




InfoPages News Channels