Meatworkers to vote

Hundreds of meatworkers at Blue Sky Meats will be asked to vote on whether or not they accept proposed wage cuts and new shift structures at a Meat Workers' Union meeting tonight, the union says.

The vote comes after a series of talks between the union and the company about shift configuration which puts about 70 jobs on the line and wage cut equivalents of up to 35 per cent.

The union's Otago Southland secretary Gary Davis said after several meetings, the union was in a position to put a proposal to workers about new shift structures and wage rates.

Slaughter and boning room workers would each get one secret-ballot vote.

The union met with the company on Friday to discuss the slaughter shift and on Monday to discuss the boning shifts.

Mr Davis said he would not comment on the proposal before it was presented to workers.

When asked if a compromise had been reached about wage cuts, Mr Davis said: "I wouldn't call it a compromise but hopefully we can put something to them [workers]."

Blue Sky Meats management could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The meeting will be held at the Invercargill Workingmen's Club at 6pm tonight.

The Southland Times