4 Mar 2012

Stand-off AFFCO

4:13 pm on 4 March 2012

The Meatworkers Union says it appears AFFCO does not want to settle an industrial dispute with two-thirds of its workforce.

Union members at eight sites went on strike on Friday, after 750 of their colleagues were locked-out earlier in the week.

The company has issued lock-out notices to a further 200 union mermbers at its Rangiuru plant, near Te Puke, from Tuesday.

AFFCO operations manager Rowan Ogg says the company believes it has a fundamental right to manage its plants as it sees fit and it needs to increase flexibility.

He says the union's stance is frustrating.

Meatworkers Union secretary Dave Eastlake says AFFCO wants its workforce completely casualised, and win or lose, workers cannot avoid this fight.

Mr Ogg says AFFCO will respond to a response from the union in a couple of weeks.

However, he says the two parties are still a considerable distance apart.