31 May 2012

Trust cornerstone of new agreement for Wairoa plant - union

6:44 am on 31 May 2012

The Meat Workers Union in Hawke's Bay says ongoing trust between the union and AFFCO will be the cornerstone of a new site agreement at the Wairoa sheep and beef plant.

About 110 union members in Wairoa who the company locked out in late February and another 70 who went on strike in support of their colleagues, returned to work on Tuesday after voting to accept a new agreement.

Union area organiser Eric Mischefski says Ngati Kahungunu iwi has helped with negotiations and its support of the locked out workers was invaluable.

He says it's a new beginning for AFFCO and its employees, and the iwi will be keeping a close watch to make sure the waka goes in the direction intended.

Mr Mischefski says the union and AFFCO need to understand each has issues which need to be dealt with, and that trust between the parties is important.