Don KRC Second Vote on Agreement

28 November 2008


The Agreement that is to be voted on this week is much better than the original Agreement which Don KRC attempted to foist upon Castlemaine employees a few weeks ago.

The company has fixed many of the issues the Union pointed out to them were a problem in the Agreement which was narrowly defeated, such as:

  • increase in pay levels
  • stand down without pay
  • undefined average 38 week removed and replaced with a normal hours of work clause
  • proper application of overtime
  • public holidays no longer compulsory
  • introduction of time limit on assessment in skills matrix
  • proper RDO provisions.

Clause 4.4(c)  
This clause has been changed so that the company can now require new employees to work a roster that includes Saturday and Sunday.  Existing employees cannot be required to do so.  However under clause 1.6 (as explained above) where a majority of any section agrees to change rosters the minority will also be bound.

Clause 4.1(b) 
Starting and finishing times can still be changed by the Company on 36 hours notice.

Management has told the Union that during the discussion sessions that Management held with groups of the workforce, an undertaking was given that there would be some mechanism that allowed for consultation between Management and workers during the course of the Agreement.

There are still parts of the Agreement that workers should think about before they vote.

The wages, although considerably higher than at present, are still lower than George Weston’s other site at Don Nth Altona, and at each of Don KRC’s major rivals Primo and Hans.  The last increase of 2½% will still have to apply to prices and inflation which applies at that time.

Clause 1.6 Facilitation by Agreement

This clause is clearly included because Don KRC Management believes that during the life of this Agreement they may wish to change substantially the working arrangements that are outlined in this Agreement.

Members of the Union will be safeguarded in relation to this when they seek the assistance of the Union if the Company does attempt to use this Clause. Others may not be.  There is nothing in the Agreement that sets out how this would operate.  Management has however informed Union Secretary Graham Bird and Works Delegate Kevin Earl, that the AMIEU would continue to be allowed right of entry and to be able to represent our members as we have been for many years.

The Union believes that this is a better Agreement than the one that was rejected.  It is not as good as it would have been if it had been a Union negotiated Agreement