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Agriculture Farming Rural, Employment Relations

Union comes to the table – Wilmar’s deal gets worse

AWU 2 mins read

A last-ditch attempt by workers to break the deadlock at the Wilmar Sugar bargaining table by offering a generous concession on their wage claim has been dismissed by the multinational corporation yesterday.

In an attempt to find a middle ground with the company, workers put forward an ask of an 18% pay rise over 3 years – a 7% reduction from workers’ original ask of 25%.

The company rejected this offer.

AWU Northern District Secretary Jim Wilson said that this compromise was made in an effort to get this resolved quickly for the welfare of the community.

“We are committed to the workers and the sugar communities around these mills.”

“Once again, Wilmar has shown their willingness to sacrifice the whole community for their profits by rejecting our proposal.”

In an added insult to their workforce, Wilmar has indicated that they will attempt to circumvent the unions by again putting their bad deal out to a ballot of workers without union consent.

Workers comprehensively rejected Wilmar’s offer last year and this deal is even worse, with Wilmar offering an extended four-year deal with no backpay in a cruel attempt to punish workers for fighting for the offer they deserve.

“The new offer is a slap in the face to every worker,” Mr Wilson said.

“The corporation’s lack of concern over the sugar industry, including mill workers and growers, is a disgrace.”

“We will be voting down this deal once again and Wilmar will be back at square one, having angered the workers and cane growers and harmed their own profits.”

“If this deal is voted down by workers, which it will be, the shareholders and executives of this company need to take action on the management of these mills – it is an international embarrassment”.

“Wilmar’s half smart word games can only get them so far and it’s time for them to show some integrity and put a fair offer on the table.”

“This is a battle for our entire industry, and we aren’t giving in.”

Media contact: Jim Wilson (0419 765 952)


The AWU proposed a deal of an 18% pay rise over 3 years. Lowering the asking amount by 7% from the original ask of 25% over 3 years and dropping additional log items.

Workers comprehensively rejected the previous offer.

Our Coverage

The Australian Workers’ Union is one of Queensland’s oldest and largest blue collar trade unions.

The AWU represents workers in the sugar industry and has hundreds of members who work for sugar mills across Queensland.

What Action Can Workers Take:

The industrial action that workers have voted for includes strike action of 1 hour, 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, 12 hours and 48 hours.

It also includes (but is not limited to) work bans on performing overtime, call outs and working with contractors.

Previous Media Coverage

“Australian Workers Union accuses Wilmar Sugar of bullying during pay vote”, Townsville Bulletin (16 November 2024):

“Wilmar Sugar Australia workers reject pay offer, AWU says”, Townsville Bulletin (18 November 2024):

“Wilmar Sugar and Renewables says cane harvest faces delays over worker strike action” Townsville Bulletin (10 May 2024)

“Wilmar Sugar Mills in Australia Face Work Stoppages Over Pay”, Bloomberg (7 May 2024)

“North Queensland sugar mill workers form picket line against Wilmar, threaten the crush”, Courier Mail (9 May 2024)

“More cane workers strike during season 'crisis point'”, (May 15th 2024) Fair pay strike at Tully Sugar cane mill after Wilmar strikes | North Queensland Register | QLD


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