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Global food unions watching Talley AFFCO bargaining closely

Media release: International Union of Food Workers

18 September 2015

Global food unions watching Talley AFFCO bargaining closely and are ready to pitch in

Global food unions representing 2.6 million workers in the food industries are keeping a close eye on a dispute between a group of New Zealand meat workers and Talleys AFFCO.

Hidayat Greenfield, Regional Secretary of the IUF Asia Pacific, said that food unions from across the region meeting in Hong Kong today were briefed on the dispute, and discussed ways to offer their solidarity to the workers from 8 meat plants from New Zealand in the AFFCO group.

“The company, owned by the Talleys group, locked out workers for 84 days in 2012. Global unions in the food, transport and retail sectors stood by these workers in 2012, and we are ready to do so again.”

Kazushige Matsutani, President of Food Rengo, the national union of food workers in Japan, expressed concern about the situation and will raise it with Japanese companies that have business interests in the New Zealand meat industry.

Chris Flatt, who represented New Zealand unions at the meeting said that national and international pressure and the support of iwi leadership, played a key role in getting the company to the bargaining table in 2012.

“Things have gotten way out of balance again at Talleys AFFCO. This company is disrespecting workers’ right to a decent job and decent way of life.”

“Many regional communities in New Zealand are reliant on their freezing works, and these workers need good jobs, with secure incomes. They have chosen to achieve this collectively through their union, and Talleys needs to respect this, not try to walk away from bargaining.”

Chris Flatt called on Talleys AFFCO to come back to the bargaining table with a mandate to settle a collective agreement for the workers.

Ends.


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