Parmalat workers to return

More than 60 days after they were locked out of their workplace, Parmalat workers are set to return.

Workers at the Echuca facility have been in negotiations for their new agreement since August last year.

Members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union planned to take industrial action on January 18 but arrived at work to find themselves locked out by management.

On Monday, the AMWU announced a victory for workers and the union, after the new agreement was voted up by workers.

“The workers at Parmalat have shown that strength and solidarity will win the day against multinational corporations,” AMWU Food Secretary Tom Hale said.

“Even in a small country town like Echuca, workers can fight to ensure that fair conditions are maintained, and that workers are treated with respect at work. That’s all we’ve ever asked for.

“This win shows the power of workers and the power of unions.”

Workers will achieve all their demands, including wage rises, improved redundancy provisions, and mandated consultation if contractors are brought in.

Employees will receive a two per cent wage increase over the next three years. In years two and three, wage increases will be set at two per cent or the national CPI for the June quarter, whichever is higher. 

A spokesperson for Parmalat’s management said they were pleased to have reached a resolution with the unions at our Echuca site. 

“The terms and conditions for employment remain largely unchanged,” they said.

“At this stage, it is expected that employees will return to work on Thursday and we are very pleased with this outcome for both our business and the Echuca community.”