Simplot concerned over AMWU bans following wages dispute

Terry O’Brien, managing director at Simplot, has said
industrial action at Ulverstone was likely to spread to other plants, following
“irresponsible” demands from the AMWU.

The Western Advocate reports that the AMWU will make
certain bans on production and maintenance operations at the food manufacturer’s Ulverstone, Tasmania plant.

This comes after a failure to reach a resolution in
the Fair Work Commission between Simplot and the AMWU.

The ABC reports that the AMWU will go ahead this
weekend with overtime bans, and that it is concerned with conditions being
taken away as well as with the wage increases offered.

“As a seasonal business, and with the season now in full swing,
the decision by the union to pursue industrial action is disappointing,” The
Advocate reports O’Brien as saying.

“Our focus will be to minimise any damage to the business, our
customers, growers and the community.”

O’Brien stated that the 4 per cent per annum wage increase
requested was “irresponsible”, given the current economic pressures, especially in manufacturing.

The Idaho-based Simplot manufactures products including Edgell frozen vegetables, Chiko rolls and Lean Cuisine meals.

Image: ABC