When 10,000 people in our community signed a very polite letter to Sir Peter Talley and published it in the Nelson Mail last weekend, the Company’s General Manager Andy Leonard described it as “typical Union sleaze”.
"Typical union sleaze" according to Andy Leonard, includes Violet (pictured above) who has just turned one years old. Her father, Kevin, has been at the Manawatu AFFCO works since 1973, and his brother and Dad worked there as well. He's just lost his job because he took time off when Violet was born and his brother died.
The letter to Sir Peter Talley and his family says they have been a part of the New Zealand society for a long time. And many Kiwis have helped their company do well. But the way Talleys owned AFFCO meat workers are being treated is out of line with the Kiwi values we all stand by.
10,000 people signed the letter asking Sir Peter to take leadership in the company he owns and treat his workers fairly, negotiate with them and their representatives and preserve their health and safety. Hundreds of people funded its publication in the Nelson Mail. That's concern, not sleaze.
Sir Peter Talley has been recognised by one of New Zealand’s highest orders. No one is doubting his contribution. But living up to his reputation as a great Kiwi is completely undermined when his manager says that ordinary New Zealanders expressing their concern is “this is typical union sleaze”.
Tell that to Violet.