Election call for workplace reform to stop unions ‘killing’ manufacturing

Beef Central, 06/08/2013

One of Australia’s largest beef processing companies has challenged both major political parties to “get serious about Australia’s manufacturing industry” during the current federal election campaign.

The challenge by Teys Australia which employs 4500 people across Australia, comes after the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) yesterday refused to sign a new workplace agreement despite support by a majority of employees at the company’s Beenleigh plant.

Teys says governments had to accept that union obstructionism like this was damaging Australia’s manufacturing base.

General Manager Corporate Affairs Tom Maguire said he was stunned by the AMIEU’s latest move, which will delay a $1000 cash bonus and wage increases for employees.

The new agreement was reached following a secret ballot late last week where the majority of employees defied the Union’s campaign and voted to accept the company’s latest offer.

“The AMIEU has opposed reform all the way. They have demonstrated that they are willing to sacrifice jobs and the future of this industry to protect their outdated ideology and dwindling power base,” Mr Maguire said.

He explained that the new workplace agreement was an essential part of regaining profitability and job security for the 800 employees at the plant.

“The issue was resolved with the employee vote. Our staff understood that things had to change in order to make this plant viable for the future and they now just want to move on and work together in a spirit of cooperation.

“Our employees will be shattered knowing that the Union – which is supposed to have their interests at heart- is standing between them and their job and financial security.”

Mr Maguire said whichever side of politics forms government after September 7, it’s time to “haul antediluvian (grossly outdated) unions like the AMIEU into today’s real world” and legislate where necessary to remove red tape that is stiflling manufacturing across Australia.

“For Australian manufacturing to prosper, we need a serious effort from government to secure its future,” he said.


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