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Agriculture Farming Rural, Employment Relations

Workers Reject Another Bad Deal – Wilmar Forced to Come to the Table

AWU 2 mins read

Workers have struck a major blow to Wilmar Sugar, with 84.7% of participating workers voting no to the beleaguered sugar giant’s bad deal during a ballot this week.

The ballot to accept or reject the company’s proposed offer was conducted between Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon.

The result of this no vote is even higher than the 80.5% result that occurred when the company tried to put the agreement out to ballot last year, indicating that the company’s tactics are not working.

AWU Northern District Secretary Jim Wilson said that workers had reduced their pay offer by 7% over the course of bargaining to try to reach an agreement with Wilmar, while the company has not budged on its offer.

“This vote is another total rejection of Wilmar’s pay offer,” Mr Wilson said.

“Our members know what they deserve and are ready to continue fighting for it.

“Now that this offer has been decisively voted down, the only course of action for Wilmar is to come to the table with a deal that workers and our communities can accept,” Mr Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said that this result showed our strength as a region.

“Wilmar thought that workers would get tired of fighting for what they deserve and cave to their bad deal - that just shows that they don’t understand North Queenslanders,” Mr Wilson said.

Media Contact: Jim Wilson (0419 765 952)

Background:

The Rejected Offer

The new offer would have extended the agreement period from three years to four which means a longer wait until workers can negotiate a better offer.

Wilmar had also removed the backpay clause and attempted to buy votes with a less than $1000 signing bonus (after super and taxes).

For a worker on $60,000 per year, this ‘bonus’ is 32 times less than the pay rise workers would receive over the duration of the next agreement if the 18% pay rise the unions are asking for is accepted.

84.7% of workers voted against the agreement.

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