THE National Union of Workers has called for Fonterra to promise redundant staff employment when milk supply recovers.
The NUW supports about 60 members at the Dennington factory, which Fonterra announced would close in November due to a lack of milk supply.
"We want to see a commitment that when milk supply picks up that our members will be first in line to come back and work and receive decent paying conditions and secure paying jobs," NUW Victorian secretary Susie Allison said.
Ms Allison said while drought and low supermarket prices for milk were among factors to blame, the processor's own milk prices had also caused the lack of supply.
"It is always because of short-term thinking by milk production operators like Fonterra that we have seen the drop in milk prices and paying low prices for milk," she said.
Fonterra has assured workers at the Dennington factory they will receive their full entitlements.
The company's general manager for operations Rob Howell said each staff member was advised of their payout amount.
"Each worker received a pack today and in that is an estimate of their redundancy," he said.
Frank Kelly, the site's delegate for the NUW, said employees would receive four weeks' pay for each year of service.
Most of the anger is directed at the hierarchy of Fonterra, who screwed the farmers over and hence we've got no milk.Frank Kelly
"That's what the union negotiated years ago," he said. "It's not too bad of a redundancy."
Mr Kelly said while he believed management had handled the announcement well, some staff members became frustrated at the length of the meeting on Thursday.
"It went on a bit too long and people are still digesting the news," he said.
Mr Kelly said staff were reasonably stoic about the decision.
"I think local management have been reasonably good," he said.
"Most of the anger is directed at the hierarchy of Fonterra, who screwed the farmers over and hence we've got no milk."
Mr Kelly said when Nestle withdrew its contract from the factory in October last year, things started to look bleak.
"That was the start of the downfall," he said.
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