#occupydandenong dispute at IFF factory enters second day

Workers at the International Flavors and Fragrances factory in Dandenong are
in the second day of a sit-in, after EBA negotiations failed to be resolved and
the company announced an indefinite lock-out.

The Herald Sun reported yesterday that workers “set up camp” in the
lunchroom after the lockout announced before the 6 am shift, the result of a paperwork ban by workers.

“A paperwork ban… would have negatively impacted our ability to
maintain quality control over the products we manufacture,” said IFF in a
statement, reported by the ABC.

“As our products are consumed by families everywhere, we take the
quality and safety of everything we make very seriously.”

Due to quality control concerns, IFF had “no option” but to hold the
lockout, it said.

The National Union of Workers has been delivering food and bedding to the
workers, variously reported to number 30, “about 40” and “more than 50”.

It was reported yesterday that workers were angered by a new proposed pay
deal – the old one having expired in November – which removed a $50 a day bonus
for unclaimed sick pay and two paid ten-minute breaks a day.

According to the ABC, the workers are requesting a pay rise tied to
inflation, with the Fair Work Commission hearing the dispute last night and hearings to resume today.

Yesterday union delegate Arthur Ingles said the workers would stay put as “long
as it takes.” 

According to Ingles, negotiations go back to last September.

“The Super A-Mart dispute took six weeks and the end of the day, we can’t
buckle,” he said.

This morning he told AAP that the protest would continue “until the dispute
is resolved fairly and amicably.”

The Dandenong plant makes food and drink additives for chips, milk and soft
drinks.

IFF is a global maker of food and fragrance additives, going back to 1889
and the company Polack & Schwarz.

Those curious about the dispute can follow #occupydandenong on Twitter.

Image: Thinkstock