Don KRC Proposed Collective Agreement - 11 September 2008

11 September 2008

False Assurances
Despite assurances given to the AMIEU over many months that DonKRC was happy to sit with the Union and Castlemaine workers representatives and negotiate the wages and conditions that the workers would vote on for their Agreement for the next 3 years, George Weston has instead determined that it wants a non-Union Agreement.

Last Thursday, 4th September, George Weston Castlemaine management informed the AMIEU Secretary, Graham Bird, that he would be contacted on 8th September to set the dates for the negotiations to commence.  Instead he was informed that the Company had changed its mind and wanted a non-Union Agreement and that it wanted it voted on within 2 weeks.

No Time for Negotiation
George Weston DonKRC has allowed no time for any negotiation and only time for superficial explanation as to the content of the Agreement and how it will affect the Castlemaine workforce.

Why the Sudden Decision?

Castlemaine workers should ask themselves why the Company wants to bind you to a set of conditions for the next three and three-quarter years without giving you time to understand what the complete agreement means.
The Wage Increase
George Weston has attempted to make the wages look attractive with a $54.24 per week increase for a grade 2 worker and 4% per annum for the next 3 years.

Federal Minimum Wage Decision

This offer is not as generous as it appears.  You are already entitled to an increase of $21.66 from 1st October as a result of the 2008 minimum wage decision by the Australian Fair Pay Commission.

Stand Down Without Pay

George Weston has also included a new clause in the Agreement which allows them to stand you down without pay when they do not have enough work for you.

Federal Award

Under the Federal Award, which is the basis of your current employment, the employer must pay an extra 10% on your wages to implement this provision.

Their first pay rate is LESS than they would have to pay you if you remained on the Federal Award.

You will remain the lowest paid smallgoods workers in Australia.

Compare the Rates:


  Sept 2008 Sept 2009 Sept 2010 Sept 2011
Grade 1 $604.20 628.37 653.50 679.64
Grade 2 623.20 648.13 674.05 701.02
Grade 3 642.20 667.89 694.60 722.39
Grade 4 661.20 687.65 715.16 743.77
Grade 5 690.00 717.60 746.30 776.15
Grade 6 710.00 738.40 767.93 798.64

Don Smallgoods, also owned by George Weston, which George Weston says will continue to operate until September 2010

  Sept 2008 1/12/2008 1/12/2009
Grade 1 $663.30 696.50 731.90
Grade 2 709.30 744.80 782.00
Grade 3 718.10 754.00 791.70
Grade 4 728.60 765.00 803.30
Grade 5 749.70 787.20 826.50
Grade 6 771.40 810.00 850.50
Grade 7 857.40 900.30 945.30

George Weston’s opposition:

Hans Smallgoods Union Collective Agreement

  September 2008 September 2009
Grade 2 (trainee) $588.72 612.27
Grade 3 707.70 736.01
Grade 4 718.95 747.71
Grade 5 745.77  775.60
Grade 6 821.62 854.49
Grade 7 852.06 886.14

Primo Smallgoods
Currently pays wages well above those offered at Castlemaine, in the range of $600 to $1,000 pw.

Skills Matrix
The new skills matrix will be used to determine your classification and therefore your wage rate.

If you believe you have been placed in the wrong classification, you can appeal. The appeal will ultimately be heard by a Review Committee.
Review Committee
The Review Committee consists of the HR Manager, the Plant Manager and the Workplace Assessor. Their recommendation is final. 

No Time Limit

There is no time limit from when you ask for a review of your classification to when the final decision is made.

There are many other issues in this Agreement that you should have the right to be fully explained.
During the life of this Agreement Don KRC Castlemaine will become the largest smallgoods plant in Australia. It will be the only plant operated by George Weston in Australia.

If the proposed Agreement is agreed to by your vote next week, you will be the lowest paid smallgoods workers in Australia until 30th June 2012.

Vote NO to this proposal so that proper discussion can take place before you sign up your wages and conditions for the next 3.75 years.