24 Sep 2009

Dairy factory lockout due to begin

2:17 pm on 24 September 2009

A six-week lockout of workers at a Waikato dairy factory is expected to begin on Thursday night, the day before an Employment Court hearing between the company and the Dairy Workers' Union.

The lockout at Open Country Dairy's Waharoa Plant near Matamata was first issued earlier this month, which the company says was in response to strike action by the union.

The strike was suspended after the union was granted an urgent hearing in the Employment Court, which will take place on Friday.

The court will consider the union's accusation that Open Country illegally used replacement labour to run the factory during industrial action.

The union has given notice of further strike action from 3 October, pending the outcome of the Employment Court hearing.

Police investigations into sabotage and assault allegations are continuing.