Parmalat Australia CEO Craig Garvin said this would allow the company to be competitive in one of Australia’s lowest margin food sectors.
“If Parmalat can achieve this aim, it will create local employment and broader community benefits such as long-term supply agreements with local dairy farmers,” Mr Garvin said.
“The yoghurts and dairy desserts market is highly customer focused and demand driven. This means that, to achieve its aim and provide positive community outcomes, Parmalat needs to be able to schedule both its workforce and its maintenance activities at the Echuca site to meet market requirements.
“We have sought to negotiate with the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union and the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union to achieve an outcome for the new Enterprise Agreement (EA) that provides this necessary flexibility. The offer that Parmalat has put forward is fair and reasonable.”
The key terms of Parmalat’s offer are:
• An increase of CPI per annum to all wages and indexed allowances.
• Maintenance of existing employee superannuation contributions, which are higher than industry standards.
• Maintenance of existing redundancy provisions.
• Parmalat to be able to carry out standard maintenance and scheduling in order to run the plant safely and efficiently.
Mr Garvin said existing and new employees would not be treated differently.
“If the conditions we have proposed are accepted by our employees, Parmalat will offer back-pay to 1 September 2016.”