In what is says is an industry first, one of Australia’s largest beef processing companies will share millions of dollars in company profits with its workforce, yet the union representing meat workers is trying to stop the payment, the company maintains.
Around 600 eligible employees at Teys Australia’s Beenleigh plant will receive the bonus cheque of between $2000 and $6000 following a vote last August to include productivity-based profit sharing, as well as annual wage increases, in a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.
The deal was branded a “new era of cooperative industrial relations,” with Teys chief executive Brad Teys thanking staff for “working with the company through a challenging process.”
“Many of our staff have been with us for years – some for decades. They understand that when the plant is making a profit, everyone wins,” Mr Teys said at the time.
However the bonus, which was opposed from the outset by the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union, may be held up due to the union’s continued legal action, Teys said in a statement.
General manager corporate affairs Tom Maguire said it was a sad irony that a union purporting to represent workers was responsible for them not being paid the bonus immediately.
“We have been working cooperatively and productively with employees since the new EBA began, while the union has been doing everything it can to scuttle the agreement,” Mr Maguire said.
“Because of this, we are unsure when we can pay this bonus,” he said.
Mr Maguire said it could be paid immediately “if it was not for the tactics of the AMIEU.”
Teys has publicly called for major industrial relations reform and says the case is an example of a ‘broken’ system.
“It is clear this fight by the union has nothing to do with what is best for its members and everything to do with its own relevance, survival and power,” Mr Maguire said.
He said the bonus will be a huge boost to many families of Teys employees and hopes it can be paid as soon as possible.