NZMWU scores $144,000 win against Talleys

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 20th, 2016 - 17 comments
Categories: employment, health and safety, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

National Ltd™ sponsors and corporate scum, Talleys, have been found to have broken the law – again – and fined record $144,000 by the Employment Relations Authority.

The Authority’s decision relates to the Talley-owned, AFFCO-managed, South Pacific Meats company’s systematic and on-going refusal to comply with the law permitting Union access to workers.  This is the third time South Pacific Meats has been found to have broken the same law at its Burnham and Awarua processing plants. The company was also found to have unlawfully imposed preconditions on wage and conditions negotiations.

National Ltd™ sponsor and corporate scum Peter Talley

National Ltd™ sponsor and corporate scum Peter Talley

But wait – there’s more! Another similar case is currently working its way through the system after mediation failed. The case goes back to June last year when two workers were effectively sacked after being seen on cameras in their smoko room reading Union material and posting it on a noticeboard.

For the Talley family, $144,000 is nothing, but the fine will sting because the Authority has ordered that it be paid to the Meat Workers Union.

Whether or not the Union eventually receives the money is another matter. Andy Leanord from AFFCO told Radio New Zealand’s “Check Point” last night that SPM denies having broken the law and is currently “considering its options”. Given the Talley’s long-term, well funded, well-connected, and brutal efforts to deny workers their human rights, this may well mean that the Authority’s decision will be appealed.

affco bully workers

17 comments on “NZMWU scores $144,000 win against Talleys”

  1. AB 1

    Jolly good, Make it $144 million and I’ll open a bottle of something.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Talley’s entire business holdings…proceeds of crime act…just saying…

  3. Macro 3

    Yes there needs to be stiffer penalties for repeat offenders like this. Three strikes and your out? If you demonstrate – like the Talleys – that you cannot be a responsible employer – then you cease to be allowed to employ.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      And the proceeds of your crimes are forfeit to the victims, to dispose of (or maintain as a going concern) as they wish.

  4. NZ’s worst employer, Talley’s, have been ordered to reinstate sacked AFFCO union delegates Bertie Ratu and Charmaine Takai. In a separate case, the Employment Relations Authority has found that Talley’s owned South Pacific Meats were acting unlawfully when they limited union officials’ access to workers at two plants in the South Island.

    So unlawfully, in fact, that the ERA has fined Talleys a whopping $144,000 and ordered them to pay that sum to the Meat Workers Union. A penalty that large is almost without precedent in NZ employment law.

    Darien Fenton, NZMWU Organising Director said today that the union is heartened by the outcome. She points out that the union has “repeatedly sought to access rights to talk to workers as guaranteed by law, and we have repeatedly been frustrated by the Talley’s owned companies across the board”.

    Darien Fenton also notes that “This is the third decision in relation to SPM’s unlawful behaviour relating to access. On each occasion their actions have been found to be unlawful.”

    Daryl Carran, Otago Southland Secretary, said that it wasn’t just officials who were being who were being denied their rights:
    “(Talley’s) actions have impacted on workers who genuinely want to exercise their freedom of association to join or not join a union. Some workers have paid the price for standing up for the union: for example, a worker was disciplined and then not engaged for the new season after a distributing a union newsletter”.

    Frankly, Sir Peter Talley should have his knighthood for services to the National Party business community rescinded. He’s not fit to run a company, let alone hold high honour.

    Congratulations to Bertie and Charmaine, well done the MWU.

    When workers rights are under attack, STAND UP, FIGHT BACK!

    • AB 4.1

      Yes TRP – I’m in awe of their commitment to the fight.
      When we get someone as repeatedly bad as Talley’s, you have to ask if there should be something like a ‘licence to operate’ for business. And like registration for medical practitioners, that licence could be revoked under certain circumstances.

    • Skinny 4.2

      “Frankly, Sir Peter Talley should have his knighthood for services to the National Party business community rescinded. He’s not fit to run a company, let alone hold high honour.”

      Worthy of a campaign in it’s on right.

      Any fair Goverment proud of their employment law changes would immediately issue a press release stating justice has been served and admonishing the behaviour of Talley’s Corporation. Of course getting in the way is political donations to Natcorp and the return favour of a Knighthood to scumbag Pete.

      It is impossible to stop the rot of greedy corporations influence in Govt when they are a greedy corporate themself running Government.

    • Uisce beatha 4.3

      Nice piece which I agree with fully. However, I do not consider a knighthood a “high honour”. It is a remnant of imperialism and colonialism and, in this country, is largely nepotism inspired and is sought after by people like John Key and his odious ilk. Richie McCaw gave this perfidious practice a nice boot into touch … and let’s hope more real Kiwis will continue that practice.

    • Keith 4.4

      I nowadays see knighthoods as a sort of ankle bracelet to identify and keep track of dodgy corporate misfits, of which there are many, so in that respect keep it Sir Peter!

  5. dv 5

    Darien Fenton also notes that “This is the third decision in relation to SPM’s unlawful behaviour relating to access. On each occasion their actions have been found to be unlawful.”

    Three strikes laws- imprision them

  6. Kevin 6

    I an sure the Government is considering law changes so their mates don’t have to go through this again.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Far easier to just defund the employment court.

      • North 6.1.1

        Kevin and OAB you’ve commented exactly in the spirit I was about to.

        I’m told that EVERYWHERE he goes The Gauche Man hears the sincerely voiced concerns of New Zealanders about a muddying of the necessary distinction between the civil and the criminal jurisdictions.

        “Eckshurely if you ask me that’s a valid concern. I mean we live in a country where the “Raw Liv Lor” applies. If you’re unlucky enough to get a parking ticket (giggle giggle) you don’t necessarily expect to be fined half the cost of the average New Zealand family home…….(sucks air through teeth)”

        Too Monty Python ? No way. Ring ring……ring ring – “Algud Peter ?”

  7. Just want to acknowledge again all the support for these amazing workers. Without them, Talley’s would be union free and the meat industry well on its way to a race to the bottom. MWU has no illusions about this company and we take our wins day by day, knowing there’s still a long fight ahead.

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