Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union




SEPTEMBER 2, 2021 – Essential food workers at McCain in Smithton Tasmania have reached an in-principle deal which will bring their wages and conditions in line with McCain workers on the mainland.

The workers will receive 3.8% in the first year, and then CPI plus 1% in the second and third years of the agreement (with a minimum of 3% and a maximum of 5% in those years).

They’ve also won paid family and domestic violence leave, double time on all overtime, and apprentices will soon earn the site rate instead of the award rate.

The workers have won their fight to be treated the same as their mainland counterparts who’ve been earning up to 15 percent more than Tasmanian McCain workers.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) have welcomed the agreement and the thawing of industrial relations after the corporate multinational’s recent aggressive lockout of its workforce – a move later found to be unlawful by the Fair Work Commission.

McCain refused to agree to fairer sick leave provisions of 120 hours and have still not paid workers for the first lock out which was deemed unlawful by the Commission.

The in-principle agreement is now set to be approved by a vote of employees, before being submitted to the Fair Work Commission for final approval.

Quotes attributable to AMWU State Secretary John Short (Tasmania):

“When the chips were down, the workers came through – it’s through sheer determination and solidarity that these workers secured this deal.

“This is a victory for all McCain workers across Australia, who know that having two sets of pay and conditions only divides workers. McCain workers have showed the company that they stand as one.

“McCain Smithton workers have finally won the recognition and respect that they deserve – the days of Tasmanian workers being treated as the “poor cousin” are over, and Smithton workers will continue to fight for equality.

“We’re still waiting for the company to stump up and pay workers for the first lockout.”

Quotes attributable to AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy:

“To go from a company locking out their entire workforce, to getting an in-principle deal that is fair and equitable a few weeks later shows what workers can do when they stand united and don’t back down.

“In the face of aggressive and escalatory tactics from their employer, these workers didn’t back down and now they’ve won a deal that brings them closer to pay equity with mainland workers.

“The employer’s unlawful lockout was a test of these workers’ resolve and they passed it. They stood strong and now they’ve won a fair deal.

ENDS - For further comment: Kate Shuttleworth 0447 418 726

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