Workers, union to meet

Workers at Blue Sky Meats will meet with union officials tonight to discuss proposed changes to the plants wage and shift structures.

Meat Workers' Union Otago Southland secretary Gary Davis said they would be discussing the weekend boning shift and negotiating a smaller wage cut.

There is an agreement that the weekend slaughter shift will be axed and up to 70 jobs will go but if the weekend boning shift goes a further 32 jobs could be on the line, Mr Davis said.

Blue Sky Meats general manager Ricky Larsen said the number of jobs to be lost would not be known until the union and workers made a decision about their preferred boning-shift structure.

The changes were needed to maintain a full working week and decent earnings for the season for the majority of workers in light of falling stock numbers, Mr Larsen said.

A Blue Sky Meats meatworker said morale at the plant was low. ''Workers just want to see a way forward. ... Not everyone really wants to go on strike but some people are adamant it's not acceptable.''

The meeting will be held at 6pm at the Invercargill Working Men's Club.

The Southland Times