Maintenance workers to walk off job at Murray Goulburn

WORKERS at Murray Goulburn will stop work on Friday as pay talks grind to a halt between unions and management. 

About 110 maintenance workers, including a dozen at the company’s Koroit factory, will hold a 24-hour work stoppage over pay and condition claims in EBA discussions.

Workers will also cease working overtime for the next six months. 

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) organiser Mark Solly accused the company of dragging its heels in negotiations.

Both sides have been locked in talks for six months. The union has made an ambit pay claim of 6 per cent a year over three years, while the company has offered 2.8 per cent — below CPI. 

“It’s just dragging on.  The company have neither said yes or no,” Mr Solly said. However, he said the union was prepared to accept less than 6 per cent. 

He said the stumbling block had been getting the company to agree to conditions such as supplying workers who wear glasses with prescription protective eye wear. Unions also claim the company is seeking to reduce members’ redundancy entitlements and failing to engage with local apprentices.

“Murray Goulburn is a highly-profitable operation and it recently announced huge profit and increases to farm gate milk prices. It also has announced a number of investments worth over a $100 million. Surely Murray Goulburn should be investing in its employees as well,” Mr Solly said.

In a statement, the company said “manufacturing operations are intended to continue as normal”. “As this is a current enterprise bargaining negotiation, it would be inappropriate to comment further,” a spokesman said. 

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