On 6 October 2016 the Court of Appeal issued its judgment in AFFCO New Zealand Limited v NZ Meat Workers and Related Trades Union Inc 
NZCA 482, upholding an earlier Employment Court decision in favour of the union. The basis for that decision is explained below, but was essentially
that AFFCO’s ‘seasonal’ workers had the same status as “employees” under the lockout provisions of the Employment Relations Act 2000 (ERA), even although they were between engagements during the off season when alleged lockouts at meat processing plants occurred. Post-employment obligations
under the collective agreement, but more particularly to re-employ according to seniority, constrained AFFCO’s future conduct transforming its refusal
to offer re-employment into an unlawful lockout. ..