Press Release: Council of Trade Unions

The 111 CMP meat workers, who have been locked out since 19 October, have today accepted an offer from CMP and will be back at work by the New Year.

Workers at CMP were locked out after refusing to take a 20% pay cut and many other changes to their working conditions. “We did not go into this dispute expecting to stop all the cuts and the company used the most extreme and harsh measures against these workers to both secure sufficient workers on the new agreements to maintain much of its business operations and to force those workers that were locked out into a situation where they faced such severe financial impacts that the company hoped they would accept the proposed cuts. These workers showed so much strength and with the support of the union movement, fought back.” Dave Eastlake, National Secretary of the New Zealand Meat Workers Union said.

Following negotiations yesterday a settlement was reached that has now been accepted by the workers and while some pay cuts have been agreed, these have been reduced to a level that the workers were prepared to accept. Importantly all the non cost conditions that the company sought to also remove have been put back in the new agreement and the workers will be paid a $500 payment on return to work. There are a number of other improved provisions in the agreement.

“The workers have shown enormous heart throughout this lengthy and onerous dispute against the odds. They go back to work with pride in the resistance and solidarity they have shown and knowing that had they not, the conditions the company originally offered would now be their working conditions.”

“While this has been hard for the workers, they are heartened by the support that has been shown by the community and the New Zealand trade union movement. Without such support the financial and emotional hardship caused by the lockout would have been harder to bear.”

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