After more than three months of hardship for over 5000 people the Talleys-AFFCO lockout has been brought to an end through pressure by iwi leaders. Sections of the trade union movement and key individuals within it were able to generate support from a majority of iwi leaders in the impacted areas where the workforces were often than 70 percent Maori.
The chairman of Waikato-Tainui executive Te Arataura, Tom Roa told Radio New Zealand last month that there was a consensus among iwi leaders to put pressure on AFFCO and its owners, the Talley family, to end the three month long industrial dispute which is having a huge effect on Maori communities. This followed similar comments from Ngapuhi leader Sonny Tau, who suggested farmers from his and other iwi should stop supplying animals to AFFCO unless the dispute is settled.
The union movement has been grateful for the support. Laurie Nankivell, a Shed Secretary for the Meat Workers Union said on Triangle TV’s The Union Report “it’s a huge bonus for us up North ‘cause we all know Sonny Tau up North, he worked with us in the freezing works in the ’80s- ’70s and ’80s, it was good to see him on our picket line.” Read the rest of this entry »