The Meat Workers Union is heading into collective agreement mediation with AFFCO both optimistic and realistic about the chances of ending the dispute.
About 1,000 unionised meat workers at AFFCO'S eight North Island plants have been locked out since March.
Mediation is to be held today and tomorrow and Meat Workers Union secretary Graham Cooke says they can only hope the company will get into meaningful negotiations on a collective agreement.
"They seem to be hell-bent on perpetuating getting people into the individual employment agreement which is of some concern to us."
He believes there's some hope on the horizon as they enter talks with the Talley's-owned company.
"However it does mean a significant change of attitude from Talley's AFFCO because our members at the moment, it's not of their making, they're the ones that are locked out, it's the Talley's that are pulling the punches, not us."
Mr Cooke says an interim injunction challenging the lawfulness of the lockout has been filed and the union hopes it's dealt with with urgently by the courts.