Cleaners at Auckland Meat Processors, owned by Wilson Hellaby, are vowing to stand together and fight a plan to axe a third of their jobs.
The cleaners work under contract to ISS which plans to slash job numbers from 15 to ten.
ISS has told the cleaners it is Wilson Hellaby which is demanding the cuts in staff.
“How can Wilson Hellaby expect ISS to maintain the standard of hygiene required of a major meat processing plant if they cut one third of the jobs of their highly skilled cleaning staff?” asks Len Richards, E tū senior organiser.
Union delegate and cleaning supervisor, Tavita Aitu, says: “we need all our cleaners to do this job properly.
“The boning floors and chillers won’t pass inspection if they are not properly cleaned.”
The cleaners are backed by the plant’s butchers whose union has conveyed their concerns to Wilson Hellaby.
“The butchers pointed out the hygiene risks posed by these cuts and they made it clear they cannot fill in for the cleaners if the jobs go,” says FIRST Union organiser, Marcus Coverdale.
Len says most of Auckland’s beef supply comes out of this plant. Countdown is their major customer.
He says Aucklanders need to know what is happening which is why the cleaners are speaking out.
“We are hoping the public feels strongly enough to support the cleaners and persuade Wilson Hellaby that these cuts are untenable,” says Len.
Len says Wilson Hellaby promotes its proud history of quality, innovation and service: “The company needs to remember its reputation as it considers the future of these jobs,” he says.
For further information, contact:
Len Richards E tū Senior Organiser, ph. 027 204 6338
Delegate, Tavita Aitu can be contacted through Len. He works overnight but is available during the day to speak to media.