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Agriculture Farming Rural, Human Resources

Wilmar’s Inaction Delays Crush

AWU 2 mins read

Wilmar is reaping what they sow as reports come out that the crush has been delayed due to staffing shortages caused by low wages.

Wilmar’s go-to line throughout bargaining has been that all economic indicators point to their offer being fair and their wages being competitive.

This point has been consistently debunked by the unions who have provided indisputable data that the cost of living over the last four years has dramatically outpaced wage increases, and the published pay rates of surrounding mills.

AWU Northern District Secretary Jim Wilson said that damning information has come to light about Wilmar’s crushing season.

“At least one of Wilmar’s Mills is experiencing constant delays due to the mill’s inability to attract staff.”

“The interruption in the crush will harm the whole community and this isn’t caused by strikes or the weather - it’s Wilmar’s low wages that fail to attract skilled workers.”

“Workers are leaving for greener pastures and new workers are seeing higher wages at neighbouring mills and in other industries,” Mr Wilson said.

“The industry is at risk of dying due to Wilmar’s inaction. This will irreparably impact the lives of people in the local communities.”

Kalamia mill has been experiencing severe delays to the crush due to low staffing, despite being ready to begin by all other metrics.

“This mill sits near the town of Ayr. We are deeply concerned about the economy, jobs and lifestyle of Ayr residents if the crush continues to be delayed.”

“No doubt Wilmar will try to blame the staffing shortages on their workforce as well, and not the below industry standard rates they pay,” Mr Wilson said.

“The best way for Wilmar to prevent falling onto their own sword is to give their workers a fair pay rise.”

“Wilmar is running out of options and running out of time.” 

Media contact: Jim Wilson (0419 765 952)

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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.

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