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Agriculture Farming Rural, Employment Relations

Disastrous start to the crush for Wilmar

AWU < 1 mins read

Wilmar is under pressure as the crush begins to a series of disasters. Over the past week, there has been multiple breakdowns and stoppages due to the experienced staff moving onto greener pastures.

AWU Northern District Secretary Jim Wilson said the effects of Wilmar’s low wages and disrespectful treatment of staff are coming back to bite them.  

“We’ve seen a comedy of errors at many mills, all caused by the lack of experienced skilled workers, and in some cases, any workers at all.”

“As of 10am on Tuesday Wilmar’s mills were crushing at 23.6% of their total capacity, a devastating figure for cane growers expecting a good return on their crop.”

“Who is Wilmar going to blame now they don’t have the excuse of industrial action?”

“They are out of excuses and this disastrous start to the crush is a direct result of their low wages and poor treatment of their workforce.”

“One mill broke down eight times within the first three hours of starting up.”

“Another mill broke down, and then when it got running again had to stop because they only have one loco, and that loco was condemned at another mill last year.”

“On top of that, Wilmar are now asking loco drivers to attend other mills on their days off, which itself is a serious safety risk.”

"Wilmar's current low wages are not sustainable.”

“Maybe instead of sending senior executives to Canberra to try to stand over senators who are critical of them, Wilmar should send someone to negotiations who can provide a fair offer to their employees which will keep the sugar industry alive in North Queensland."

Media contact: Jim Wilson (0419 765 952)

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