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Teys in Union Talks as Workers Call for End to Dispute

13 June 2013

AUSTRALIA - Staff at Teys’ Beenleigh processing plant that have been in dispute with the management over pay are ready to call an end to the action according to the processor’s CEO Brad Teys.

He said the workers have said they have “had a gutful’ of the continued industrial action over a new workplace agreement and want the dispute resolved as soon as possible.

The CEO was speaking following yesterday’s meeting with the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), which he described as “respectful and productive”.

Mr Teys added that the company was considering the way it operated its proposed bonus system, following concerns from workers.

“We are listening to our staff and we will consider what they say. This is what negotiation is about and this is the reason we have said all along that the strike action from the union was premature,” Mr Teys said.

However he added that while the company was working to end the action, he said the union did not understand the need for industry reform.

“The only way we will reach agreement is for the AMIEU to negotiate with an enterprise and productivity focus. They still don’t understand the need for change.”

Mr Teys explained that the cost of production in Australia was $300 for each animal processed while in the USA it was $150 and in Brazil $111.

“Almost every person in Australia – including respected former trade union officials like Bill Kelty and Martin Ferguson - recognises that for manufacturing to survive and be competitive on the global market, we can’t keep doing things the way we did them in the seventies,” Mr Teys said.

He said while the company’s aim was to ensure the profitability of the Beenleigh plant and job security for almost 1000 on-site staff, “the union is still obsessed with industry issues like union access to lunchrooms, site rates and playing union videos at new staff inductions”.

Teys’ Beenleigh plant is a vital part of the community, paying around A$40 million dollars in wages each year, much of which is invested locally.

“My aim is to bring these negotiations to a resolution, for the sake of our company, our staff, their families and the local community,” said Mr Teys.

“It’s now time for the union to work with us and become a part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

 

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