Wingham Beef Exports' statement

WINGHAM Beef Exports HR manager, Bob Howarth has provided the following statement to clarify some statements made to the media at strike action in Central Park on April 17. Union members took further industrial action on Monday, April 28.

Union tactics "questionable"

On March 19, 2014 the Fair Work Commission entered a Protected Action Ballot Order submitted by the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union allowing questions to be put to employees (i.e. union members / about 60 per cent of employees) to vote on a range of industrial actions in support of negotiations in a new Enterprise Agreement.

Following a successful "yes vote", four specific industrial actions were effectively authorised by the Commission as protected industrial action.

Some examples of misleading statements include:

o Employees are amongst the Industry's lowest paid workers and 80 per cent of workers earn only $17.40 per hour ( which is incorrect )

o The three per cent general wage increase offered by the company is under par and below inflation

o The company is withholding public holiday entitlements from workers

It is disappointing that the union would make statements to the media that are designed to mislead and create the incorrect impression. Despite the tactics being undertaken by the union, and supported by some employees, the company continues and will continue to bargain in good faith and the company will uphold all its legal responsibilities. The company expects the union to do the same.

At Monday (April 28) strike, which is approved by the commission, over 160 employees attended work and the plants at Wingham and Macksville are operating.

The company will hold further discussions during the week.

Bob Howarth

HR Manager Wingham Beef Exports