A SOUTH-WEST union official has slammed dairy co-operative Murray Goulburn for lack of consultation before announcing a 12 per cent staff cut across its Victorian operations last week in an efficiency move.
Twenty of the positions are at Koroit where National Union of Workers western organiser Greg Lee visited on Friday.
“Neither myself nor our on-site delegate were consulted about all this,” he told The Standard.
“Our members were certainly unaware these cuts would be announced.
“The first official talks between union and the company won’t take place until Monday.
“We will be fighting for all their entitlements to be paid.”
Mr Lee said his union covered four permanent staff in the laboratory section who were offered redundancies on Thursday.
Another two casuals and a seasonal worker in that section faced limited opportunities, he said.
The Standard understands four truck drivers including one man with 40 years’ service will also be made redundant along with six workers in other sections.
Before Thursday’s announcement, six other Koroit workers had accepted redundancy offers.
When all the 20 redundant staff are gone by June 30, the local workforce will be down to 110.
“Many of the people concerned will be pretty upset at losing their jobs,” he said.
The co-operative announced 301 positions to be cut from across its processing, distribution and head office sites.
It estimates the move will save $100m a year in the face of tightening global market pressures.
Mr Lee said there was a worrying national trend towards workforce casualisation.
“It affects society and creates uncertainty among workers,” he said.
“Twenty years ago only 20 per cent of the national workforce was casual, now its 40 per cent and soon it could be 80 per cent.
“That’s a disgrace.”