Workers at a Bathurst based meat works are being asked to cop a pay cut while their employer’s company profits are booming, says the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU).
21 Maintenance workers at Devro, which makes the edible coverings of sausages at their plant in Kelso, will down tools for 48 hours beginning this Thursday the 30th at 7am.
Devro’s stock price has risen 8.2% in the last year and the company made $231 million in profit.
For decades the workers have had annual pay increases indexed to CPI but the company wants to remove the provision from the industrial agreement with inflation rising.
“This company was sweet with an annual pay increase based on CPI when it was bumping along at one and two percent, but as soon as it starts to rise they want their workforce to cop the pain,” says AWU Organiser Jack Ayoub.
“Workers linked their annual increase to CPI for a reason, so their pay keeps pace with the cost of living, and that meant some years they got a low pay rise, but now things have changed suddenly Devro wants them to cop a pay cut, it’s just not on.
“Every single person who works at this plant lives in Bathurst and pumps their pay packet back into the town, but this mob would rather send their workers’ hard earned money to be divvied up in Scotland where their headquarters is.
“The condescending manner our members have been spoken to I have never witnessed anywhere else.
“I’ve had company reps tell me our members are maintenance workers so they wouldn’t understand the intricacies of their industrial agreement their EBA, it’s just offensive’
“We were prepared to listen to their proposal and asked them to consider increasing redundancy provisions or long service leave clauses to bring them into line with workers’ in similar businesses in the Kelso area in return but they just flat refused, it’s all take and no give and our members have had a gutful.
“Devro are just compulsive liars, they told us during COVID they were struggling yet they ran the plant 24/7 and their stock price went up’
“Devro are being acquired by another company called SARIA, and we think management are trying to prove how tough they are, and our members are the meat in the sandwich,” says AWU Organiser Jack Ayoub.
Workers at Devro’s plant, 139 Sydney Road, Kelso, will rally outside the facility at 8am on Thursday 30th March, Media Welcome.