2 Mar 2012

AFFCO confident it can continue during strike

5:25 am on 2 March 2012

AFFCO is confident it can process all beasts during a strike on Friday.

Operations manager Rowan Ogg says it has sufficient staff to cope, as the season is quieter

The Meat Workers Union and AFFCO are at loggerheads about how production at the company's eight plants will be affected when hundreds of workers go on strike on Friday.

On Wednesday, the company locked out 762 unionised employees from five of the plants, after mediation in the dispute over a new employment agreement broke down.

The union says 1700 union members who have not been locked out will strike for 24 hours from 5am on Friday.

It said the walkout will stop both shifts at AFFCO plants.

Secretary Graham Cooke said that between the strike and lockout, the plants will be left with unskilled workers and production will suffer.

Mr Ogg disputes the number of those striking, saying it's closer to 500 than 1700.

He says the company has enough workers on individual contracts to keep the production lines going, even if there is more strike action.

The lockout affects five of the company's eight plants; at Moerewa, Horotiu, Imlay, Wairoa and Manawatu.