Workers from New Zealand's largest egg producer Zeagold go on strike after 'insulting' pay offer

Workers at New Zealand's largest egg producer have gone on strike after receiving an "insulting" offer from their employer. 

A group of around 30 workers from Zeagold are protesting in Takanini on Tuesday morning after not reaching a new wage agreement. 

"We’re currently bargaining with Zeagold for a new wage agreement and our members have voted to strike after declining an insulting offer from management," FIRST Union organiser Numia Raea said.

"Workers feel frustrated and undervalued after being promised 'recognition' for working through two lockdowns while many of them remain on minimum wage."

Raea said workers have voted to strike for two days and ban overtime until June 1st.

"The company is currently acquiring new farms and papering over the cracks in their workforce with temporary labour, and these workers have been getter busier and busier for the last decade," Raea said. 

"The site runs on overtime and can’t keep up with orders for export and domestic eggs - some of the temps don’t last a day while most of our members have been there for many years.

"We’re seeking a meaningful pay rise that can mitigate a big rise in the cost of living and reward these people for years of extremely hard work."

The group of protesters in Takanini are holding signs saying; "Don't hate, negotiate", "no more chicken feed, pay eggactly" and "Essential for essential mahi". 

Workers at Zeagold grade and package eggs for distribution at their Auckland site. 

The company is owned by Mainland Poultry, which reports through Indus Valley Limited to overseas private equity firms.