26 Apr 2012

Union and AFFCO set to meet with judge

7:52 am on 26 April 2012

The Meat Workers Union and AFFCO are due to have a confidential meeting on Thursday with a judge to hear if the company's lockout of workers is legal.

An Employment Court hearing into the two-month-long industrial dispute, set down for Monday and Tuesday in Auckland, was postponed due the substantial amount of evidence submitted.

Following the postponement, the Meat Workers Union filed an urgent interim injunction to prohibit the lockout continuing.

At the private settlement conference on Thursday an Employment Court judge is expected to give an interim opinion on the legality of the lockout.

That will give each party the opportunity to consider their position before the matter goes to a full court hearing.

The judge is expected to announce a new date for the hearing at the end of the conference.

The union says in the meantime, it wants to continue with facilitated bargaining.

AFFCO says it plans to meet the union for further mediation talks early in May.

The lockout affects about 1000 meat workers at AFFCO'S eight North Island plants.