We'll always be Union

So say these workers at AFFCO Rangiuru, who this week have had to make the most awful decision - sign an unfair individual agreement, or have no job. But they're not giving up.  The Meat Workers Union asked the Employment Court to intervene with an injunction, but Judge Colgan declined it on the "balance of convenience".  The substantive case is due to be heard by a full panel of Employment Court Judges as soon as possible.  

This goes to the heart of the problem for seasonal meat workers.  Decades-old case law has determined they are "new" workers every time they are return to work after a seasonal layoff.  This is despite workers having thousands of years of service to the meat industry - at AFFCO Talley alone, a quick break-down of union members showed around 3000 years of service at that one plant.  

But that counts for nothing with a company like Talley whose actions could lead people to think they see their workers as just one step above the animals they kill.  We don't want to believe that, but that attitude is spreading to other meat companies where the company wants it all and the workers should be utterly subservient and grateful for the crumbs that fall from the company table.

This is the common cause that all Meat Workers are bringing together in our Jobs that Count campaign. Are meat workers slaves or are they human beings?  

And this is the defiant call from Rangiuru union members this week.  

"We'll always be union. Not even a IEA contract will stop us! Not even you Sir!"

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