Don KRC October Proposal Rejected - September 2008


The proposed Don KRC non-Union Collective Agreement has been rejected by the Castlemaine workforce with a vote of 408 “No” and 378 “Yes”.

Castlemaine Management, with the assistance of Joe Borg, HR Manager at Don Nth Altona, has now spoken to its workforce of approximately 950 in reasonably small groups to attempt to find out what the problems were.

There will be more meetings this week so that Management can respond to what they have heard from last week’s meetings.

Mr. Mal Sutton, C.E.O. at Don KRC,  continues to say that he wants a non-Union Agreement, despite previous undertakings by Castlemaine Management that the Agreement would be a Union Collective Agreement.  However Castlemaine Management has said that the Union will be given an opportunity to be on site to meet with employees at both plants during next week, 27-31 October.

The precise date and venue needs to be confirmed with the Management. The Union is hopeful that we will be allowed back into the lunch rooms to hold these meetings.

For the first time in at least 30 years the Union was banned from entering the Castlemaine lunch rooms a few weeks ago when the first attempt was made by Don KRC to have their non-Union Collective Agreement accepted.  Castlemaine management have also said they are prepared to meet with the Union again prior to any further vote on another Agreement.

Even without proper access to the workforce, the Union has had more than 250 workers sign a declaration that they wish the Union to represent them in negotiating the new Agreement. 

It is the Union’s view that Don KRC should allow a negotiating committee to be elected by the Castlemaine workforce, and that Committee should be allowed to have the assistance of Union officials to help negotiate the Agreement to operate at Castlemaine for the next 3 to 4 years.  This should be allowed to happen whether it ends up a Union or a non-Union Agreement. 

The recently rejected Agreement was drawn up by lawyers at Freehills, the largest legal firm in Australia, which represents almost 75% of Australia’s top companies.  Don KRC pays a lot of money for this assistance.  The Castlemaine workforce should also be allowed to have ongoing assistance in the development of its Agreement. 

The Don KRC Management should not be scared to have proper negotiations with its workforce so that the Agreement entered into is one that everyone can understand and support.