Murray Goulburn maintenance staff call another strike

STAFF at six Murray Goulburn sites across Victoria are on strike today.

About 110 maintenance workers at six sites — including Kiewa and Cob-ram — went on strike for 24 hours from 6am.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Mark Solly said EBA negotiations had broken down a month ago with the company “refusing to budge” on key items.

“They’re items that we consider and know to be standard within the dairy industry,” he said.

“Their competitors are paying those things and Murray Goulburn are getting out of it on the cheap.”

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trade Union are calling for agreed pay rises for staff as their skills rise, standard redundancy provisions and for more apprentices.

“We’re trying to apply pressure on the company,” Mr Solly said.

“We know it’s having an effect on them.

“Our overtime ban and callout ban has been in place for eight weeks now and the membership is getting frustrated at the company refusing to come back to the table.”

Mr Solly said the strike would have a major imp-act if there was a major breakdown at one of the sites.

The action follows a strike on July 16 and a stop-work on July 4.

A Murray Goulburn spokeswoman said the company’s offer was considered fair.

“Devondale Murray Goulburn has tabled an offer which we believe represents a fair outcome for our employees — one which delivers wage incr-eases above inflation, protects current entitlements and supports the co-operative to become more sustainable in the future,” she said.

“At this stage, Devondale Murray Goulburn’s key priority is to protect the business and the int-erests of its farmers from the impact of the ongoing industrial action from the Communications Electrical Plumbing Union and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union .

“Devondale Murray Goulburn remains open to further discussions with the unions.”