30 November 2018

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) will be engaging with SPC’s current owners and prospective buyers to ensure a smooth transition of operations at the company’s manufacturing plants at Shepparton and Kyabram, Victoria.

AMWU National Food Secretary Jason Hefford said the announcement that SPC was for sale meant that the AMWU would now engage with stakeholders and SPC workers to make sure the eventual sale was a “win, win” outcome for everyone concerned.

However, as this fruit season is about to begin, workers are concerned about a new rating system introduced at SPC which seeks to limit the work performed by some employees.

Workplace consultancy firm WorkHealth Australia has conducted a review of workers, deeming them capable of work on a scale from “extra light to very heavy” which workers are concerned is unfair and could affect their employment during the approaching fruit season.

The following quotes can be attributed to Jason Hefford, National Food Secretary, AMWU:

“We will be working with our members, SPC management and prospective buyers to make sure this sale process goes smoothly and sets the company and its workforce up to continue to service its market and the local community.”

“We are confident that once a new buyer takes over, there will be opportunities to grow the business and continue the proud tradition of food manufacturing essential for the continued well-being of workers, local suppliers and the wider community.”

“However, before that happens we are concerned about the fairness of WorkHealth Australia’s ratings and the potential impact on employment at SPC this season.”

“We believe this rating system does not reflect the true capability of the workforce, it discriminates against some older workers and should be discontinued.”

“The SPC workforce comprises more than 220 full-time employees and 700 seasonal workers who are well aware of their capabilities.”

/Public Release.