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Affco loses legal bid on lockouts

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 5/10/2016 Paul McBeth

Affco New Zealand has lost its bid to throw out a ruling that it unlawfully locked out seasonal meatworkers when collective bargaining was taking place.

The Court of Appeal turned down the meat processor's application to overturn an Employment Court ruling, saying it was "obvious that Affco's objective was to undermine or compromise the parallel process of negotiating a collective agreement which was underway with the union" in what amounted to an unlawful lockout.

"The company's purpose was to fragment the future bargaining strength of the workforce by isolating individual workers," the judgment from Justices Ellen France, Rhys Harrison and Kit Toogood said.

The original case covered workers at Affco's Rangiuru, Imlay, and Manawatu plants but the company had accepted any finding would cover all eight of its North Island plants.

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