Monday, February 27, 2012

Another lockout

Last year, CMP Rangitikei locked out its workforce in an effort to force casualisation and extort a 20% cut in wages. Now, Affco is following suit:

Hundreds of Affco meat workers will be locked out of work from Wednesday morning unless they agree to company's latest employment offer, ONE News understands.

The Meat Workers Union and Affco have been at loggerheads over the past 18 months over a collective employment agreement dispute.

The two parties have been negotiating a new agreement for the past three months. But yesterday the union was sent a lock-out notice and in it it named 762 workers who will be locked out of five Affco plants indefinitely across the North Island.

This seems to be a trend: under National employers such as CMP, Affco and Ports of Auckland are explicitly trying to smash unions, to force casualisation, and to lower wages. All with the collusion of an anti-worker National government. But the result is to impoverish ordinary New Zealanders and further widen the wage gap with Australia - while lining the pockets of the rich.

Hopefully the Dairy Workers Union or CTU will have information on how to donate to a support fund up soon. In the meantime, you can show your support by boycotting Affco products, and those of their owners, the virulently anti-union (and sexist) Talley brothers. Unfortunately, most Affco produce is exported, and most supermarkets don't label where their meat comes from anyway, but the latter are easily identifiable and can be targeted. We need to send a message to these corporate bandits: if they hurt their workforce, we will not buy their products; no-one likes dealing with an arsehole.