Troubled soda ash maker Penrice Soda is alleged to have used an industrial intelligence company to spy on its workers.
The Age reports that the Tasmanian Supreme Court heard that a company affiliated with Bruce Townsend was engaged by Penrice for ''surreptitious infiltration of the plantiff's employees and sub-contractors''.
Employees of Townsend, a Tasmanian-based strike-breaker – whose services were used on Thiess Degremont’s desalination plant project and in the waterfront dispute, and who is described by the CFMEU as a “union hater” – allegedly posed as Penrice employees to gain intelligence for ''dissemination of that intelligence'' to Penrice.
Penrice, which recently restructured and which is the first company two receive “two strikes” from dissatisfied shareholders, is defending itself against claims that it owes Townsend’s company $112,082.
CEO Guy Roberts told The Age, “We're not saying it's perfect and we have differences with our unionised workforce at times.”
“[But] our track record is one of demonstrably working together and achieving industrial harmony.”
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