The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has dismissed Rio Tinto's public denials at the weekend that talks with Meridian Energy had broken down.
Southland organiser Trevor Hobbs backed up what he was told by Tiwai workers regarding the power contract for the smelter.
Mr Hobbs said Rio Tinto's denial was at odds with what company management had told its workforce.
''Workers at Tiwai were briefed by company management on Thursday that Meridian Energy had walked out of negotiations over the power price. This has been confirmed to the union by multiple reliable sources inside the smelter,'' he said.
Employees at the Tiwai smelter have been told by the company not to speak the media, Mr Hobbs said.
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