UPDATE 1pm: The union representing tanker operators at Murray Goulburn is awaiting official confirmation from the company about plans to reduce 60 tanker operator positions.
Transport Workers Union Victoria/Tasmania branch secretary John Berger said the union would work with the company to ensure the best possible outcome for members.
“The TWU will ensure these workers, some of whom have been with the union and the company for decades, are cared for appropriately and receive the best possible outcome from a very bad situation,” he said.
The union was awaiting finer details about which positions would be removed, what support roles might be impacted and where losses would occur.
EARLIER: Dairy cooperative Murray Goulburn says a decision to reduce approximately 60 tanker operator roles is “regrettable but necessary”.
The changes would affect 60 tanker operators working in Koroit, Leongatha, Maffra and Rochester who were part of Murray Goulburn’s Inbound Logistics company. A number of support roles would also be affected.
The announcement was made to staff on Tuesday.
Murray Goulburn supplier relations director Cameron Smith wrote in a letter to suppliers that the decision was driven by the reduction in the cooperative’s milk intake.
“Over the last 18 months, as our milk intake has decreased, we have managed logistics through a reduction in our seasonal workforce, use of annual leave and accumulated hours. However, the sustained reduction now requires more decisive action,” he said.
Last month, the company announced a 21.8 per cent reduction in the amount of milk received in the year to June 30, down to 2.7 billion litres.
On Tuesday, Murray Goulburn said it would support employees by providing access to career transition and redeployment services.
“To minimise the impact on our people, we will be seeking to make changes to rosters and offering voluntary redundancies in the first instance.”
The changes would be phased in with hopes of increasing the efficiency of Murray Goulburn’s logistics business and ensuring there was capacity to sufficiently manage collections during peak periods of production.
The Transport Workers Union has been contacted for comment.
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