Following earlier industrial action at Nippon’s Mackay abattoir which led to a fortnight-long plant closure, meatworkers at JBS Australia's Rockhampton plant have voted to strike for four hours tomorrow over delays in enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations.
JBS plant management has since elected to close the plant for the full day tomorrow, saying a half-day shift was economically unviable.
It is understood that the decision to adopt Protected Action was taken by the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union consultative committee, without consulting the 250-strong union-aligned workforce – a move which has upset some employees, leading some to withdraw their union support.
JBS has offered a 3pc increase over three years in the negotiation, described by the company as a ‘good offer’, however the AMIEU is seeking a 4pc rise.
AMIEU Queensland branch secretary Bruce Crawford told the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin that a ballot earlier this month showed that 85pc of members were in favour of protected industrial action – a statistic JBS management suggested was overstated.
Stop work meetings have also been held recently at other Queensland beef plants, giving rise to concern that the industry is heading into a period of industrial instability.