Locked-out and striking North Island meatworkers have arrived at the Talley family's Motueka homes in a bid to tell the freezing work owners how their communities have been ripped apart.
Thirty-three locked-out workers and three children travelled to Nelson last night from each of the Talley's eight North Island Affco plants in Moerewa; Wiri, Auckland; Horotiu, near Hamilton; Rangiuru, near Te Puke; Napier; Wairoa; Feilding and Whanganui for the protest.
They represent the 1300 locked out and striking workers who have been without pay since February 29.
After this morning's protest outside the Talley family's Motueka homes, the group will return to Nelson to be joined by 200 workers from a Nelson fishing company for a noon protest march in Trafalgar St, which will end with speeches at the Church Steps.
The workers' convoy of a bus, ute and cars arrived at Peter Talley's Motueka Quay home at 9.15am today hoping to deliver a letter to him. They asked through a speaker at the gate to meet with him but got no reply. The convoy then set off to go to a Talley's property in Chamberlain St and then another at Kina.
Striking Wairoa worker Dana Irwin said the lock-out had affected more than just the meatworkers, and she blamed Talley's chief executive Peter Talley.
"It's affected our kids, the farmers, our customers. He's come into my community and ripped friends and families apart".
Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly has been with the striking workers as they travelled around the Talley's houses, and will join them for a march in Nelson at midday.
''We're showing what is going on in these communities of Wairoa, Wanganui, the Manawatu, and Morea to the communities of Nelson and Motueka,'' she said.
The Talley family, ''one New Zealand family'', had inflicted incredible hardship on 1300 other New Zealand families, she said.
Meanwhile the Meat Worker's Union and Affco have begun facilitation for the first time at the Telstra Clear Pacific Center in Manukau, South Auckland.
Affco's chief executive Hamish Simson, and MWU delegates from the company's plants are attending the facilitation which began at 9am.
The union asked for facilitation in the long-running row, which began with a dispute over the collective employment contracts at plants.
- © Fairfax NZ News