A 12 week dispute between Affco and the New Zealand Meat Workers Union is over.
The two parties settled on a new collective agreement at 5am today with workers set to return to work and payroll.
Meat workers march through the main street in Te Puke on Saturday in protest of the lock out.
More than 900 meat workers have been on strike and locked out of Affco’s eight North Island plants since the collective agreement broke down in December.
Ratification meetings for the agreement will be completed by next Monday.
Union President Mike Nahu says the settlement secures the core issues of concern to members.
“It retains protection of wages and employment security and ensures workers continue to have their terms and conditions set by a union negotiated agreement.
“These twelve weeks have tested our union and its members to the core and they have shown incredible commitment to their principles and to each other.”
Mike says families have suffered extensive hardship and they will be extremely relieved to see the end of the dispute and to return to jobs they love and know they are good at.
“The union wants to acknowledge the magnificent support it has received from Iwi Leaders to bring about this result.
“Maori dominated this group of workers and Iwi recognised the interest of their members were at stake on the picket line.”
Mike says they showed incredible skill, resolve and solidarity in working with us and the company right until the documents were signed.
“I know the members of the union are extremely grateful and proud of the role they undertook.”
Company Director Andrew Talley says this settlement is a welcome end of a difficult time for everyone.
“I am looking forward to spending additional time around the meat plants and working with the union and its members to continue to improve these meat plants making them the best performing in the country.”
The settlement comes in the wake of a protest in Te Puke on Saturday, where hundreds of workers and their families from the Te Puke Rangiuru plant walked the main street of Te Puke voicing their concerns before meeting at Donovan Park for a picnic.