21 May 2012

AFFCO and union say deal close

9:49 pm on 21 May 2012

Negotiations to settle a long-running dispute between AFFCO and the Meat Workers Union are continuing after the parties indicated there has been a breakthrough.

The meat processing company and union had been at loggerheads over a new collective agreement since late February this year.

On Monday the parties issued a joint statement, saying they have reached an initial agreeement on talks to settle a collective contract but need more time to settle specific agreements for the eight affected processing plants in the North Island.

Hundreds of union members have been locked out of the plants, while another 800 workers are on strike.

The union says the negotiations will continue on Tuesday.

All legal action has either been withdrawn or suspended while details are finalised, and the parties have agreed that the meatworkers can return to work shortly.

The Employment Court was part-way through a case brought by the union challenging the lockout.