More than 20,000 meat workers provide their labour for this critical NZ export industry which contributes significantly to the wealth of the country.
However labour standards have declined in a traditional seasonal industry to the point where dangerous jobs, casual and zero hours contracts, and increasing pressure on workers to join non-union individual agreements are increasingly prevalent.
Long established seniority provisions that enabled loyal, reliable, dependable and skilled workers to return to work after each season are being undermined by some companies.
The government’s recent changes to employment law undermine collective bargaining by making it easier for employers to walk away from the bargaining table before reaching agreement.
The NZ Meat Workers Union have launched a campaign called “Jobs That Count” in support of secure jobs, safe working conditions and fair pay through the respect of workers’ rights. Visit the campaign site here.