17 Feb 2016

Meat workers to return to Wairoa

7:56 pm on 17 February 2016

After a five-month union lockout, 170 Wairoa meat workers will be returning to the town's AFFCO plant on Monday.

Affco workers made the journey from Wairoa to Auckland for the hearing.

Photo: RNZ / Kim Baker Wilson

It follows an Employment Court decision that AFFCO unlawfully locked out union members at certain plants, and breached its good faith obligations when bargaining.

Meat Workers Union director of organising Darien Fenton said workers had started getting calls alerting them to the news yesterday.

"The union was notified of the recall list, which was a list of who's been invited back to work and what shifts they're going to be on, and so we're just checking with that," she said.

"The workers are delighted. There will be some issues when they get back to work but we'll sort them out then."

About 150 workers who were due to return to the plant in early December, two years after their collective agreement with the company expired, found they had been offered only night work on the contracts AFFCO wanted, rather than on their original contracts.

Meat Workers Union secretary Graham Cooke said at the time the court had indicated workers should be reinstated on previous union terms and conditions.

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