A meat processing company embroiled in a lengthy labour dispute has hit out at a union seeking public donations for its striking members.
Affco says an appeal by Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly for funds is misguided as it was partly responsible for their adversity.
The union on Friday said the lockout was causing hardship for hundreds of Affco workers who wanted to get back to work.
"They are hard working, loyal families who just want to work. Affco want to starve these families into submission," Ms Kelly said.
But Affco says the union was the one causing the hardship with it choosing blanket strike action across all its members.
In a statement it said it had provided numerous offers to the Meat Workers' Union get back to work which had been rejected.
"The union is forcing hardship on its members with the ongoing strikes," Affco said.
It said around 350 workers remained locked out after it lifted lockout notices for 300 workers earlier this month.
The parties are to enter facilitation in an attempt to resolve the labour wrangle after attempts at mediation failed.
The dispute, which affects eight North Island meat plants, extended to Motueka this week when about 40 meatworkers picketed outside the homes of the Talley family which owns Affco.
Mana Party MP Hone Harawira has called for a boycott of Talley's products and a Ngapuhi leader urged Maori farmers to also consider a ban on sending stock to Affco meatworks.NZN
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