Union accuses Foodstuffs of 'cynical tactic' in changing chicken deal
Foodstuffs has apologised for a sign at an Auckland Pak'n Save that blamed striking workers for a lack of products on its shelves.
It was actually the result of a distribution problem.
First Union criticised Pak'n Save for a "cynical tactic by a nasty company" when a sign was put up at the Clendon store blaming industrial action for a lack of chicken available for shoppers.
North Island chief executive Chris Quin, on behalf of chilled and frozen food centre CTD Nesdale, agreed the sign was put up in error. He said the disruption was because of a change in supply, not union negotiations.
Workers at the distribution centre staged two walk-offs last month, to protest against the company not addressing labour-hire issues.
First Union, which represents them, said operations had returned to normal before the company decided to outsource the work from the centre.
Quin agreed that, as a result of that supply arrangement change, some stores had disruption in their chilled and frozen product lines.
"From time to time these do alter to allow the business to meet demands. We're experiencing a few teething problems as we bed in a new supply arrangement. "
He said the sign had been removed and apologised for confusion it had caused..
First Union spokeswoman Lisa Fox said the decision to outsource chicken distribution to a new company was probably an attempt to make staff worry about their jobs.
"But now the new contractor can't fulfil orders and the company is blaming their own staff. We want the company to apologise to its workforce for the misleading statement and tell their customers the truth."
Quin rejected that. "No staff roles at CTD Nesdale have been affected by the changes and the claim that this is somehow a threat to staff is incorrect."