Major win in New Zealand: Locked-out Talley's/AFFCO workers back to work!

After 12 weeks, the 1,000 AFFCO meat workers who were locked out or on strike have returned to work over the last few days following the settlement reached between the company and their union, the New Zealand Meat Workers Union, in the early hours of Tuesday, 21 May 2012.

With the assistance of Maori leaders and of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, the union and the company, represented by Managing Director Andrew Talley, signed a collective agreement which addresses the members' core concerns and the issues at stake in this dispute: wage and employment security and continued protection of collective bargaining rights.

The settlement includes a pay increase of 4.3% and provision for a hardship payment to all workers locked-out or on strike. Workers were back on the payroll on Tuesday and began returning to work on Wednesday. The terms and conditions of the previous collective agreement will apply until ratification of the new one is completed next week.

This fight was won by the courage and tenacity of the workers in the face of a hostile employer. Despite the hardship experienced over 12 weeks, the workers stood together, stood firm and stood with their union.

The New Zealand Meat Workers Union thanks the IUF, its affiliates and all those who sent messages, stressing the important role the international and national pressure played in getting the company to the bargaining table.