The Department of Labour is investigating a Southland meat plant in the light of claims that 12 people have lost fingers while using bandsaws there in the past 18 months.
The claims have been made by Gary Davis, of the Otago Southland Meat Workers Union, who says management at the South Pacific Meats plant owned by Talley's are pushing staff too hard, on old equipment.
Mr Davis says management will not listen to the union's concerns - namely, that equipment needs to be upgraded and productivity slowed down. If the situation is not resolved, he says, the workers may have to walk off the job.
Neither the management of the meatworks nor the Department of Labour would talk to Radio New Zealand.