Iwi leaders are being called on to support meat workers currently in employment negotiations with Talleys.
Labour’s Māori caucus has sent an open letter to iwi leaders around the country and Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says, “We are aware that when Talleys locked out workers for a period of 89 days in the previous round of industrial disputes, it was the pressure and influence of iwi leaders who were able to convince them that a better solution could be found.”
According to Ms Mahuta around 1000 meat workers union members are working towards strengthening employment conditions.
“They are currently based at Fielding, Whanganui, Napier, Wairoa, Rangiuru, Horotiu, Wiri and Moerewa. Talleys is the owner of these sites that were formerly owned by AFFCO.”
The hope is that the open letter will be considered and discussed at an iwi leaders meeting in Whanganui next week.
She says, “We are calling on iwi leaders to take a collective approach to advocate for workers who are seeking our support for fair workplace conditions on all these sites.”
Talleys refused to comment on the issue at this stage but responded to queries with an email saying, "We are in the process of bargaining with the Union for a collective that has expired, a process which is governed by a Bargaining Process Agreement. In accordance with that agreement we won’t be making any media statement at this point."