Media Release :
The Meat Workers Union says that the sell-off of half of New Zealand’s largest meat company to foreign interests is a result of a failure of government leadership on other options.
“We’ve had past experience with overseas ownership in this industry and meat workers are rightly wary of plant closures and any impact on workers pay and conditions that such significant change can bring,” says Graham Cooke, National Secretary of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union.
“However, foreign investment has been beneficial in some cases – for example Japanese investment in ANZCO, so workers will pay close attention to what happens next in Silver Fern Farms.
“Our preference is for the meat industry to be New Zealand owned with a government-led process to reform the industry.
“Critical to how meat workers will judge this is the way workers are treated, how the union is involved in future strategy and whether there is respect for the hard work and commitment of meat workers.
“Silver Fern Farms union delegates today met with management and it is encouraging they are prepared to include union members in the discussion about their future.
"However, foreign investment in Silver Fern Farms doesn’t mean the government should continue its hands-off attitude and ignore calls from farmers, industry players and the union to help make this important export industry as successful as it can be,” says Graham Cooke.