Gathercole Carrum

8 February 2008

Gathercole Carrum
EBA Negotiations

As most of you would be aware, your last EBA expired on 1st December, 2006.  Since then the Union has had numerous meetings with the Company to try and reach an agreement for a new EBA. 

Tatura and Wangaratta Agreements
Gathercole reached agreement at the Tatura and Wangaratta sites.  These two agreements, with the exception of the boning room at Tatura which operates under AWAs,  are identical.  In a move to attempt pattern bargaining, which is illegal for the Union to do, the Company insists that it wants the same agreement to operate at the Carrum site.

Proposals Rejected
The Shop Committee and the Union Organiser have listened to the members at Carrum, who have overwhelmingly rejected the Company’s proposed new agreement. 

Industrial Tactics
Through all the attempts the Union has made on your behalf to salvage some of your existing conditions, the Company has maintained its all or nothing stance. The staff layoffs in the mutton boning rooms and kill floor could be an industrial tactic to force you into agreeing with the Company’s proposal, particularly in the light of the possibility that having signed the Company agreement you may be made full time again.

The Company will say that the employees it has made casual are better off signing the agreement because as casuals they have no conditions anyway. What they neglect to say is that even after signing the agreement they can’t guarantee job security beyond 6 months anyway, and that by signing you will forfeit your right to any redundancy payment.

Some of the changes the Company wants to make to the old Union EBA:

Butchers Picnic Removed
Eves Days    Removed
Seniority    Removed
Security of Employment   Removed
Submit to a random drug and alcohol test in the
workplace and/or a full medical examination
at the Company’s request by a doctor of their choice
60 day probation period for all new employees Added
Warnings Extended from 18 to 24 months
Span of hours 6am-5.30pm Extended to  5.30am-8pm.
Casuals can work Saturdays as ordinary hours Added
Company may nominate to work four days of 10 hours Added
Rostered Days Off Removed
Penalty Rates for Casuals on Public Holidays Removed
Severence pay Reduced
Maximum beef tally increased from 28 to 30  
Maximum smallstock tally increased from 90 to 95  

Boning room incentive:
paid for each lamb in excess of 24.

Additional requirements where the forequarter is required as a square cut the rate will be 27 per employee.

If a full breast is tubed (not boned or trimmed) will be 25

If forequarters not processed (ie strung up) will be 30

Incentives to be divided by the total number of employees (including casuals) working in the room

Previously 20


Previously 21


Previously 28




Changes to Make Up Pay  
Pay for your own rest days  

This is by no means a complete list of the changes the proposed Company agreement will bring about.

In the end it is your decision whether to sign this agreement, but if you do it would seem that the negotiations over the last 12 months have been a waste of time; you could have simply given up your conditions, taken a small wage increase and kept working.

If the Union and your Shop Committee have been hearing you properly, I know what your decision will be.

Paul Conway
Assistant Secretary