8 Dec 2008

Fonterra and dairy workers settle pay row

1:44 pm on 8 December 2008

Dairy workers have accepted an immediate 6.5% wage increase in a settlement with Fonterra.

Fonterra dairy plant workers and tanker drivers were threatening industrial action last month over a pay dispute.

The Dairy Workers' Union, representing about 4,500 Fonterra workers, was seeking an 8% pay increase, while Fonterra was offering 5% as well as a 2.5% lump sum payment.

The union's national secretary James Ritchie said the agreement, covering three years, was ratified at the end of last week.

He said in addition to the 6.5% increase in the first year the workers will receive a 1.5% lump sum. For each of the following two years the increase will be 1% above the Consumers Price Index.

James Ritchie says the union will sit down with Fonterra Milk Supply before Christmas to discuss problems that are affecting milk collection from farms.