AMWU and W.E. Smith optimistic dispute can be resolved

W.E. Smith Engineering has opened its books to the AMWU and briefed the union on the company’s situation.

The Coffs Coast Advocate has been following the story, and reports that the W.E. Smith has said the union would now work to find a solution, rather than court action on unpaid wages and entitlements.

Last week management met the Fair Work Ombudsman and were given a March 4 deadline to pay workers what is owed in a Compliance Notice. The company said it was planning a “partial shut-down” for eight weeks from March 7.

The company has also blamed the dispute with the AMWU for the loss of a $4 million contract this week.

"It's very important there is public scrutiny and public support for the workers that are involved in this position," The Advocate reports Tim Ayres from the union as saying.

Both parties agreed that yesterday’s meeting was a positive step forward and was optimistic and agreement could be reached “in the coming weeks”.

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