Increase in minimum rate for Silver Fern meat workers

The Silver Fern Farms flags flies from the roof of the former Dunedin Chief Post Office. Photo by...
Photo: ODT files
Silver Fern Farms and the New Zealand Meat Workers Union have announced a lift in the minimum hourly productive rate paid to existing and new employees at all Silver Fern Farm sites to $24 per hour — an increase of almost 10%.

In a statement, NZMWU national secretary Daryl Carran said the rate increase was an important step in addressing misconceptions of meat processing as a low-paid occupation, and in placing a higher value on starting level roles in the industry.

‘‘Recruitment and staff retention have become issues of critical importance across the primary sector and competing industries with simpler systems of pay can appear on face value to be more attractive.

‘‘The reality though is that great training and progression opportunities do exist in processing plants.

‘‘Workers can grow their skills and in time earn higher amounts, which is important as young people want to buy a house for their family,’’ he said.

Mr Carran said the meat workers union and Silver Fern Farms had been working together to develop options for addressing skills shortages in the sector.

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