Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Inghams workers wrap up 3-day strike

Food Processing workers at Inghams chicken processing plant in Wiri, Auckland, have just finished three days of full strike action after walking off the job over frustrating wage negotiations and missing backpay in a protest that some have dubbed the ‘McNugget Strike’ due to its potential effects on the supply of chicken pieces to McDonalds and other fast food restaurants, FIRST Union said today.

Eighteen FIRST Union members began picketing outside the Inghams plant on Tuesday and have been demonstrating throughout the community over the last week. The company’s most recent offer of a 2.4% rise excludes backpay accrued since the last Collective Agreement expired at the end of May, and includes clawbacks to hours of work that would see workers required to be available on an ad hoc rostering system over 7 days rather than working regularly rostered fulltime hours over 5 days, as in the current arrangement. Pay rates for workers at the Inghams plant range from near minimum wage to around $21 per hour, which is not considered a living wage.

FIRST Union organiser Mark Muller said members were more than disappointed by the offer and the company’s response to negotiations, and that strike action would likely affect the supply of chicken products to fast food restaurants like McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy’s, which could mean shortages in some parts of the country over the coming weeks. The plant also supplies chicken products to many other major supermarket chains, restaurants and food producers throughout the country.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"There’s a feeling that the company aren’t really listening to the workers’ claims, and they absolutely resist the requirement to be available seven days a week when they should rightfully be able to expect some much-earned downtime," said Mr Muller.

"Clawbacks like this keep workers feeling like their jobs are insecure, and they cause unnecessary stress for people who often work more than 50 hours per week as it is."

"To add insult to injury, managers at Inghams have instructed financial staff not to pay out the workers’ Christmas Club funds until the 20th of December, which they have been personally investing in throughout the year and had hoped to use to buy presents for their families."

"This kind of mean-spirited and punitive action during tense negotiations just makes things worse, and it has really annoyed and energised the striking workers."

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

FMA: MAS To Pay $2.1M Penalty For Making False Representations

Following proceedings brought by the FMA, MAS has been ordered to pay a $2.1M penalty for making false and/or misleading representations to some customers. MAS admitted failing to correctly apply multi-policy discounts and no claims bonus discounts to some customers, failing to correctly apply inflation adjustments on some customer policies, and miscalculating benefit payments.More

IAG: Call On New Government To Prioritise Flood Resilience

The economic toll of our summer of storms continues to mount, with insurance payouts now topping $1B, second only to the Christchurch earthquakes. AMI, State, & NZI have released the latest Wild Weather Tracker, which reveals 51,000 claims for the North Island floods & Cyclone Gabrielle, of which 99% (motor), 97% (contents), and 93% (home) of claims have now been settled. More


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.