Workers at Gourmet Mokai Ltd near Taupo walked off the job in disgust at management’s attitude toward their current Collective Agreement negotiations. The company, which produces tomatoes and capsicums, has repeatedly cancelled meetings with the Northern Amalgamated Workers Union who have been trying to meet with bosses since November. At a report-back meeting on Monday 7 April, unionists issued an ultimatum to management: agree to meet us, or we’re out on strike for 48 hours. Bosses replied that they were not prepared to commit to a date there and then, and the workers promptly pulled the pin!
Management responded by threatening to bus workers over from a site in Woodhill, near Auckland to replace striking workers. Undeterred, the workers held a picket line the following day. Far from wanting to scab on their mates, workers at Woodhill asked if the Mokai crew needed any support. In the end, management decided to play ball, and have set a date for further negotiations.