GUEST BLOG: 2 chain* – Happy Labour Day (except at Talley’s)

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The photo is the speaking notes used by the management stooge who put the ultimatum to the workers last Friday. The worker that took the snap took an incredible risk doing so.

A Talley’s owned meat plant has given their workers an ultimatum; sign a new contract that includes an effective 85 cents per hour pay cut or be paid as a casual, with no sick days, no holidays, no production bonus and no rights of ongoing work. Oh, and no pay this Labour Day either.

The workers at South Pacific Meat’s Malvern plant near the Burnham army camp have been given to Friday to sign the inferior deal, but in the meantime, they have been told their current conditions have been taken from them anyway and they are now regarded as casual workers. The attached photo shows the speaking notes from the supervisor who announced SPM’s brutal approach to bargaining.

Workers at SPM enjoy an hourly rate of $14.60, well below the legal minimum. This was usually topped up with piece rates and an attendance bonus, paid outside the contract. The company has now taken away the attendance bonus ($2 per hour) and lifted the minimum hourly rate to $15.75. So, an actual cut of 85 cents.

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This coercion is on top of the fact that the company already treats staff as fixed term casuals, laying them off every 3 months and only re-hiring those it likes. These so called ‘seasons’ are designed to exert power and control over the workforce, many of whom are migrant visa workers.

In completely unrelated news, Talleys have been among the largest donors to the National Party in recent elections, but not this year, apparently. I’m guessing that’s because the Nats have refused to promise even more draconian employment laws and the Talley family have spat the dummy at this rank subordination from their usually compliant political lackeys.

Instead, they are content to push the current law to its boundaries and, in many cases, over the line of decency. How are they getting away with this in the NZ of the Brighter Future (™)?

Simple. They win by flouting the law to keep the union out. SPM are happy to pay court costs, including a recent $28,000 fine for assaulting a union official, because they are saving thousands of dollars each week on the usual rates paid in the meat industry.

The Talley’s family find being bastards is very, very profitable.

Don’t encourage third world employment practices. Please don’t buy Talley’s wage slave produced products.

 

2 Chain is the name of the road the plant is on. The Author wishes to be anonymous to protect themselves from Talley’s retribution.

21 COMMENTS

  1. Pff! But are the rights of genderqueer empoyees respected and is the necessary sensitivity training in place? That’s what I want to know.

  2. I’ve suggested it before:

    TDB should display a sidebar listing all Talley product names. Many products are disguised under other names and you wouldn’t know to avoid them..

  3. This is why you must vote and don’t vote National.
    The Farmer’s back stabbing, toxic friend of no choice.
    Farmers should, and I mean SHOULD boycott talleys until they go bankrupt. That’d send a message to not fuck with human lives.
    talleys workers should all strike NOW. All of you. And you should pull out all other labour in all other meat processing plants here and in AU. Because, ya know? CER?
    The Union should also call on their Brothers and Sisters on the water fronts, in shipping, road transport and rail and those who stack shevles in supermarkets too.
    All out! Now!

    Fuck talleys! Who the fuck do they think they are, the wankers.

    • Perhaps an incoming Labour-led government could remove the criminalization of solidarity strikes from current employment legislation, as Clark’s government failed to do when they replaced the Employment Contracts Act?

  4. Well in part we can thank peter Jackson, the national party and Hollywood for almost pioneering the erosion of our workplace rights. Where is the uproar from the media?

  5. It’s a constant battle to to on the bottom and pay less and less in real terms.

    Lucky Talley’s have plenty of desperate migrant workers to keep their employment practises competitive and a National government that is actively suppling more and more offshore desperate workers to undercut local workers in an increasingly lower waged NZ economy, while hiding all the social and economic problems that is causing.

    I love my taxpayers $$$ going to buy up privately owned motels to house the homeless at $1000 p/w rooms per week, instead of health and education.

    It’s all worth it to know that the Talley’s family are getting richer off government policy to bring in more subjugated workers from overseas or fake students who are looking for residency as well as turning a blind eye (aka Pike river) to employment practises that fall well short of what they should be.

    • agree 100% SAVENZ plenty of migrant workers courtesy of the gnats and NZers wonder why so many working NZers are on the breadline its not there fault its our greedy selfish caretaker government.

  6. Would be interesting to test Peter Talley with Robert Hare’s PCL-R (http://hare.org/index.html).
    As with many politicians, bankers, judges etc, the result would be similar I’d wager.
    Imagine a world where the influence of these less-than-fully-human types was diminished. Many of the obstacles to addressing war, poverty, climate change, oppression etc would be removed as a result.
    Instead, we put them in positions of power to abuse workers/pull ponytails etc and then give ’em bloody knighthoods!

  7. Have made a point of not buying anything from this company for a few years now – they are an embarrassment to NZ.

  8. I’m pretty damned sure much of what Talleys proposes is breaking the law. The Employment Court might have something to say about a company trying to break the Holiday’s Act.

    Oh, and we won’t be buying Talleys stuff any time soon.

  9. Talleys break the law all the time. The MWU challenges them in Court all the time and wins most of the time ; We’ve been to the Appeals Court and Supreme Court and won on an unlawful lockout in 2015 yet there’s still been no compensation for the five months without pay at Wairoa AFFCO, because Talleys are now appealing the calculation decisions. That all take another year. Occasionally the workers get justice; but usually Talleys uses their millions to continue with more endless Court actions and tricks which suck up union resources, while at the same time doing everything possible to stymie union organisation in their meat plant. We are of course hoping for a change of government to strengthen the laws, but we will see. MWU just keeps on trying to organise these workers. There is no other choice.

  10. I had a similar situation at another employer who no longer exists. I refused to sign until they changed the contract to not be so fucking rediculous, kept my job and stayed until they closed down.

    The HR manager quit instead and I stayed.

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