MEDIA RELEASE issued on behalf of Dairy Workers Union
8 September 2009
For Immediate Release
Open Country Cheese to Lockout Workers for Six Weeks
Open Country Cheese publicly calls for restrictions on the Right to Strike in the dairy industry, then it issues a six
week lockout notice to union members at its factory at Waharoa.
The lockout notices clearly spell out the company position. “Stay out the gate until the end of October or beg for your
job back on the Company’s terms.”
The lockouts are a further attempt to intimidate workers into submission.
OCC Chairman Laurie Margrain has called for dairy to be made an essential industry to restrict the right to strike.
The fact is that dairy is already an essential industry and requires 14 days notice of strike action to give the parties
the ability to settle disputes before any damage is done. No strikes in 20 years is testament to the actions of the
Dairy Workers Union and other industry employers in negotiating for the success of the industry.
OCC wants to operate without applying the normal employment standards in the industry to drive down labour costs.
Instead of threatening workers and playing politics, the company should direct its efforts to negotiating a fair and
reasonable collective agreement with its workers who have chosen the Dairy Workers Union to represent them.