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DWU: Open Country Cheese Negligence Cause Environmental Damage

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
DWU: Open Country Cheese Negligence Cause Environmental Damage

"Talleys-owned Open Country Cheese's insistence on running their plant without appropriate trained environmental staff is now causing serious environmental damage," said James Ritchie, National Secretary of the Dairy Workers Union.

36 workers are in their third day of strike action at Open Country Cheese's Waharoa plant in Waikato, after the company has refused to negotiate a collective agreement and protect workers' job security. Untrained staff are now operating the plant.

"Environmental management is a critical part of any dairy operation but OCC wants to drive production at any cost," James Ritchie said.

"Today the environmental ponds overflowed with deactivated sludge and poured into the river. The sludge tanks need to be managed by trained staff and is a critical part of the manufacturing process."

"Nomally the sludge is collected by trucks and spread on farms - but we found out this morning that it had been poured directly into the Waitoa river."

Environment Waikato have been notified by the Dairy Workers Union and now a massive clean up is required, James Ritchie said.

"The Dairy Workers Union wants to settle this dispute by negotiating a fair collective agreement, while OCC wants to bust the union and wreck the environment," James Ritchie said.

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