The month-long lockout of workers at Talleys-owned Open Country Cheese is over after workers have secured their goal of a collective employment agreement to cover their jobs.
“The members of our union at Open Country Cheese have stuck together right through this very difficult dispute,” Dairy Workers Union National Secretary James Ritchie said.
“All that these workers wanted was some basic job security through a collective employment agreement and they were illegally locked out for standing up for their rights.” The company’s restructuring at the plant greatly reduced the number of positions available and a confidential settlement was reached for workers whose jobs have disappeared, he said.
“The workers were buoyed on by the very strong support of the Waharoa and wider Waikato community, and the solidarity of the union movement. Their stand for fairness at work shows that workers are stronger when they act together in unions,” James Ritchie said.
This is an important victory for all dairy workers as it will certainly make other employers think twice about taking on the union.