Published: 01/02/2016
On January 15, a German tourist with a ‘working holiday’ visa was caught in a machine while working on the slaughter line at the Talleys/AFFCO meat plant in Rangiuru New Zealand. He was knocked unconscious and suffered injuries to the head, face and teeth. He was working in one of the most dangerous areas in the plant with negligible training. Two years ago, an experienced worker was impaled by a hook on the same machine and dragged along the line. Ninety minutes were needed to extricate the hook, which had entered the back of his head and emerged from under his eye.

According to the New Zealand government’s Accident Compensation Corporation, over the last three years nearly 5,000 Talley’s workers have been awarded over USD 4.7 million in compensation for workplace accidents; 1,286 Talley’s workers were injured on the job in 2014 alone. While the Talley family was lobbying against reforms to New Zealand’s health and safety legislation, a worker whose arm was sliced open at the company’s South Pacific Meats plant had to transport himself to hospital. His boss later told the employment tribunal “he was too busy to deal with the matter.”

Talleys/AFFCO is a serial rights abuser. This employer with a horrific record of workplace accidents has fired union health and safety representatives for meeting with their members and locked out 200 workers at the company’s Wairoa meat plant to force them to abandon collective bargaining and accept individual contracts.