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Court of Appeal confirms locked out Wairoa AFFCO workers must be paid

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Three years after the Employment Court ruled that AFFCO workers were unlawfully locked out, the Appeal Court has delivered a decision confirming that workers at the Wairoa plant who were without pay for up to five months should be paid lost wages under the Wages Protection Act.

Wairoa Meat Workers Union members are welcoming the decision.

"We have been through so much" says Therese Turipa, Meat Workers Union site President and detain operator in ovine and bovine at the Wairoa plant.

"Through five months, our families were without wages and it was only with the support of the community, our union and the wider union movement we managed to get through.

"But it left scars that continue to this day. We’ve lost members due to hardship and even death. Even worse, AFFCO has lost skilled and dedicated workers who have had no choice but to move to other places to find work.

Pete Amato NZMWU Shed Secretary and Beef Slaughterman agrees.

"We keep hoping AFFCO will do the right thing and promptly pay Wairoa union members for the terrible loss they incurred by standing up to the Company in 2015. We’ve been through court case after court case and in every instance, AFFCO was found to have unlawfully locked us out.

"We all just want to move on. Our small community and our whanau have suffered and we need to begin the rebuilding. We hope that AFFCO will accept this decision so we can begin to put the past behind us" says Pete.

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