Second strike at Murray Goulburn dairy sites

UP to 110 electricians and fitters at six Murray Goulburn sites in Victoria, including Kiewa and Cobram, went on strike yesterday.

At least 20 North East members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Electrical Trade Union downed tools from 6am yesterday for an indefinite stoppage.

They were likely to return to work this morning, AMWU North East organiser Dave Corben said.

“They don’t want to be going on strike, they just want to get it sorted out.”

The action followed a 24-hour stop-work on July 4 and a continued ban on overtime over enterprise agreement negotiations between the AMWU, ETU and Murray Goulburn.

ETU branch organiser Peter Mooney said there were three “contentious areas” in the negotiations.

“The first is a claim in regards to redundancies — we believe Murray Goulburn is creating a second class of employee by placing a cap on people’s redundancies,” he said.

“The second is a disagreement over apprentice numbers.

“Murray Goulburn has indicated they are willing to hire three for their entire system, but even at their biggest site at Leongatha there will be no apprentices.”

The third point was regarding wage increases, with the ETU believing the increase was below the consumer price index of 2.9 per cent.

Mr Mooney said it was unfair workers at other dairy production companies could receive $100 a pay packet more than at Murray Goulburn.

The parties began negotiations on the agreement on April 28.