Published: 03/05/2016

The New Zealand meat company Talleys/Affco has intensified attempts to eliminate the New Zealand Meat Workers Union as it continues to injure record numbers of workers.

New Zealand official health and safety statistics show that in 2015 the number of non-severe injuries at Talleys-owned meat plants rose 6 percent while the number of serious injuries recorded remained similar to the previous year. This is in contrast with the other big five local meat companies where strong union and management health and safety cooperation has seen the number of injuries fall dramatically. Silver Fern Farms, an employer of 7000 people where meat workers are overwhelmingly unionized, had its non-severe injuries fall 48 percent and severe injuries by 61 percent.

The Talleys response to criticism of its health and safety record and serial rights abuses has been to apply to the Employment Authority to shut down all social media criticism of the company by the union and its members and to attempt to ban the Meat Workers Union Director of Organizing from representing members in any contact with the company.