11 Apr 2014

Industrial action possible over over Silver Fern pay offer

1:54 pm on 11 April 2014

The Meatworkers Union will not rule out industrial action if Silver Fern Farms continues to offer what it says is almost nothing in wage increase talks.

Negotiations began about four months ago.

Otago/Southland union secretary Gary Davis said Silver Fern is offering no pay increase over the next nine months, despite living costs continuing to rise.

He said the members are disheartened considering the chief executive earns an annual salary of nearly $1 million a year.

Mr Davis said many other executives are earning in excess of $100,00 a year.

He would not reveal full details of the Silver Fern offer but said it is an increase of only about two percent in the second year.

Members are voting on whether to accept or reject the company's offer with a result expected next week.

Mr Davis said industrial action is a possibility, if the offer is not accepted by meat workers.

Silver Fern Farms says it is in the ratification process and it is premature to comment, however, the offer is being recommended to union members by the union's negotiation team of which Mr Davis is not a member.