Wednesday, 22 April 2020 10:15

Ball dropped — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
Alliance Group’s lack of action over Easter begs many questions… Alliance Group’s lack of action over Easter begs many questions…

OPINION: Reports that the Alliance Group – the country’s biggest meat processing company – did not operate during the Easter holiday period defies belief.

It is even more astounding given that other meat companies around New Zealand did work, at least for some period, during Easter.

This came at a time when farmers around the country are experiencing long wait times to get livestock killed, as the meat processing sector grapples with drought in many parts of New Zealand and a delay in killing capability due to the COVID-19 social distancing requirements now in place at plants.

This has been further exacerbated by several winter grazing contracts being cancelled in Southland and other parts of the country leaving farmers with nowhere for their animals to winter and now needing livestock to be killed.

With the huge backlog of stock, why did the Alliance Group chose not to work over Easter? It has left many farmers – and others in the sector – questioning the company’s logic.

Alliance Group chief executive David Surveyor has claimed the company did not process over Easter to give workers ‘time with their families’ over the holidays.

No one will deny that meat workers deserve quality family time. However, this year is an exceptional period in the country’s history, with Coivd-19 reducing killing capacity and the pressure on farmers due to the reasons outlined above. And those workers would have been duly compensated with appropriate holiday penalty rates.

Surely Alliance Group could have clearly explained the situation to its workers, many of whom live in areas impacted by drought, and got them onside? 

Its action – or more correctly, lack of action – over Easter begs many questions:

Did the company not want to – or couldn’t afford to – pay the penalty rates its workers would rightly deserve for working over a holiday period?

Does the company not have a good enough relationship with its workforce and/or unions to get agreement to work over Easter?

Were Alliance’s management and board unaware of the dire situation on farms around the country?

Alliance farmer suppliers deserve proper answers. The co-op has dropped the ball badly and needs to front up, quick smart.

More like this

Migrant workers set to return

About 50 migrant dairy workers could potentially benefit from the Government’s border exception for work visa holders.

Keeping it local!

The inability to bring in experienced overseas workers is one of the big difficulties for the potato industry as it heads into the next growing season amid COVID-19.

Featured

Longest running ag field days all go

The South Island Agricultural Field Days, held in Kirwee on the outskirts of Christchurch, will celebrate its 70th year in March 2021 with a bigger demonstration area.

 

National

Machinery & Products

New tractor fills the gap

Deutz Fahr has introduced the new 8280 TTV, which is aimed at filling the gap between its current 7 and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bully boys?

OPINION: This old mutt hears that there is some discontent in the wool sector at the tactics being used by the…

Tacky!

OPINION: Your canine crusader, like many in the rural sector, was deeply distressed to hear the tragic news that a…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter