A little respect goes a long way

Some people might think the Meat Workers Union is obsessed with Talley's.

That's probably because the work representing our members in the Talley's owned companies, including AFFCO, Land Meats and South Pacific Meats take up a great deal more time than that of any other meat company in New Zealand.  

The NZ Meat Workers Union has a long history and relationship with employers and other players in the Meat Industry.  

These companies have high union density and good delegate structures. Their employers don't try to block union access, enable union members to meet on the job, and respect the delegates.  

We don't always agree, but it's accepted that there is a legitimate role for the union in meat companies and it can be an advantage to have the organised input of your workers through a union.

There are big issues facing the meat industry.  These can't be resolved without workers' voices - the voice of those who actually do the work and know the industry backwards. 

A little bit of respect goes a long way. 




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  • Eric Mischefski
    commented 2015-06-08 09:20:40 +1200
    As an organiser for the NZMWU with some 30 years experience as a union official I can safely say that AFFCO is the most difficult to deal with. I see the pain and anger in the eyes of our members who have had to endure significant upheaval to work and family life since the Talleys have taken over the company.

    The ironic thing is that during the early 90s our union saved the company from going broke. AFFCOs bankers came to us with a package designed to get the company back into the black which we accommodated much to the discussed of some of our members who were left with no alternative but to accept deferred or delayed redundancy payments.

    Looking back it is even more ironic that at that time the banks insisted that a consultative committee be set up consisting of union and company people to assist the company in becoming more profitable.

    This is something that is not in the Talleys dna but it should be. The end result of assisting AFFCO during this low period in the 90s was that AFFCO survived and Weddel fell over a few years later.

    It has not been lost on us that similar circumstances exist in the meat industry today with the shortage of stock and overcapacity of processing plants which has the potential to cause the closure of some plants. Certainly this is the view of the meat industry excellence group and if it does come to pass then our union will be in the thick of it regardless of the mentality (or lack of it) of the Talleys.

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