One of Australia’s largest meat processing companies has hailed a vote by employees to adopt a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement as a “victory for workers and the future.”
Staff at Teys Australia’s Beenleigh (Qld) plant voted late last week to accept the company’s offer of a three percent per annum wage increase over four years, despite the opposition of the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, which also rejected six previous offers.
Teys general manager corporate affairs Tom Maguire, said almost all of the 800 workers took part and the result came down to a handful of votes. However he said the resolution of the dispute would give employees job security and bring stability to many across the Beenleigh region.
“We are talking about 800 staff and thousands of local jobs that are connected to the viability of this plant, so this is an important step forward that we hope will bring a new era of cooperation and engagement between company and employees.”
Mr Maguire said the company has been working towards industry reform for a long while.
“Australian manufacturing must reform to be competitive, and the meat processing industry is no exception. We can no longer sustain outdated and unrealistic employment terms that make us uncompetitive in a global market.”
Teys chief executive Brad Teys thanked staff for working with the company through a “challenging process."
“Many of our employees have been with us for years – some for decades. They understand that when the plant is making a profit, everyone wins. This is a win for them in terms of increased wages and job security.”
Mr Maguire said the new EBA would come into effect following approval by Fair Work Australia and has called on the AMIEU to support the staffs' decision.
“Unfortunately, the Union has opposed this reform process all the way, and the vote got up despite their opposition. We hope the AMIEU will now accept that the employees have spoken,” he said.