12 Dec 2011

Meat workers hope facilitation will help end dispute

7:06 am on 12 December 2011

The Meat Workers Union is hoping facilitation will work where mediation has failed, in finding a way to end the dispute at the Marton lamb processing plant that's been running for almost two months.

Ninety-five meat workers at ANZCO's CMP Rangitikei plant remain locked out after refusing to sign a new contract with pay cuts and longer working hours.

About 200 employees have accepted the conditions and are working at the plant under individual contracts.

Negotiations under an independent Labour Department mediator have failed to end the dispute.

A further meeting has been set up for Wednesday and Thursday next week, just a few days before Christmas, using the facilitation service of the Employment Relations Authority.

A Meat Workers Union organiser Robbie Magee says they hope out of that will come a recommendation they can take back to the locked out workers that will settle the dispute.

He says the locked out workers have not had a payment in nine weeks and before that they were on short time for up to six weeks which meant reduced pay.

Prior to that they were on their off-season.

Mr Magee says some of the workers have not had a decent pay since as far back as April.