12 February 2016 MEDIA STATEMENT
An Employment Court judgement requiring Talley’s AFFCO staff at its Wairoa freezing works to return to their normal shifts is a victory for the locked out workers, say Labour’s Workplace Relations Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway and MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Meka Whaitiri.
“This has been a five month ordeal for the workers, their families and the wider Wairoa community,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.
“Two weeks ago Andrew Little and I wrote to Sir Peter and Michael Talley to express our concern about the severe hardship this dispute was causing.
“The Employment Court deemed the lockout illegal in November last year, and I’m pleased they’ve once again made a fair ruling which will now provide a resolution for these workers.
“Labour congratulates the Meat Workers Union who stood by their workers and funded this legal action,” he says.
Meka Whaitiri says this standoff has come at a huge cost to Wairoa.
“One hundred and seventy people out of work in a community like this has a massive social and economic impact, not to mention the emotional and physical toll on the workers and their whānau.
“The ruling means workers should be back on day shift in the next two weeks and that’s brilliant news.
“I urge AFFCO Talley’s to respect this decision, accept it as a resolution to the dispute and move forward for the good of everyone concerned,” says Meka Whaitiri.