A Hawke's Bay meatworker says she's put off a move to Australia after Affco and the Meat Workers' Union ended their 12-week standoff.
The union and the meatworks company, with significant help from the Iwi Leadership Forum, came to a deal on a collective contract at 5am on Tuesday after an all-night negotiation.
Staff will be back on the payroll from Tuesday and returning to work at the eight North Island plants in the next few days following the agreement.
Dana Irwin, who worked at the plant in Wairoa, 120km northeast of Napier, says she was ready to follow the mass Kiwi migration to Australia, where she already had a job lined up, until Tuesday's news.
"Half of Wairoa has already gone to Kalgoorlie (a West Australian mining town) because of this dispute. It's actually been going on at our plant for at least two years," she told Radio New Zealand.
"But I don't want to leave my home. It felt like we were forced to leave if things didn't come right."
Ms Irwin said the dispute, which has seen more than 1000 workers around the North Island locked out or on strike at various times, had divided the Wairoa community.
"We've had half families working and half not working. People that used to be good friends are not friends any more, because they feel like their friends have left them out on the road and signed individual contracts to go back to work," she said.
"I'm actually quite nervous to go back to work and see what's going to happen."
Union president Mike Nahu says the settlement retains protection of wages and employment security and ensures the union will continue to negotiate terms and conditions.Affco director Andrew Talley says the settlement is welcome and he's looking forward to spending extra time around the meat plants and working with the union and its members.
Do you answer the door to strangers?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.