Simplot/union agreement gets closer

An
agreement between the AMWU and Simplot to vote on wages next week was reached
yesterday.

The ABC reports that workers in the company’s Ulverstone and Devenport sites in Tasmania’s north-west will
vote next week after an in-principle agreement – the terms of which were not
shared – was reached in the Fair Work Commission.

“There is a
proposal from the company which is a bit different to what they first put
forward but the most important thing is for the workforce to get to understand
what the proposal is and obviously see what they think about it,”
the AMWU’s John Short said, according to the ABC.

Prior to this, the
AMWU had requested a 12 per cent wage increase over three years. Terry O’Brien,
managing director of Simplot, had called the four per cent per year rises
irresponsible.

Mid-last year the company, which is headquartered globally in Idaho, said its Devenport plant
could be closed if its competitiveness does not increase.

The standoff over
wages has been running for seven months.

Simplot manufactures products including Edgell
frozen vegetables, Chiko rolls and Lean Cuisine meals.

Image: ABC