Staff take a stand over pay claim

INDUSTRIAL action is under way at Ipswich's biggest private employer.

The Australian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU) began an indefinite ban on overtime work late last week after negotiations with Dinmore meatworks owner JBS Australia broke down.

AMIEU branch secretary Brian Crawford said the union was calling for a 4% pay rise for staff, in line with the Bureau of Statistic's (ABS) rise in the consumer price index (CPI).

"AMIEU members at Dinmore have also had their earnings savaged in recent times by frequent stand-downs," Mr Crawford said.

"Up to 26 working days in a year have been lost, resulting in employees only receiving three weeks annual leave.

"It is not unreasonable for the AMIEU and its members to seek some redress on this issue."

Mr Crawford said the union's claim came after nearly two years without a pay rise.

"AMIEU members at Dinmore have not received a wage increase since September 2010," he said.

"Since that time, ABS statistics indicate the CPI has moved 4.3% and private sector wage growth has been slightly in excess of 4%.

"The AMIEU maintains its 4% wage claim is moderate, reasonable, and affordable."

The union is also calling for improved job security and public holiday payment.

Mr Crawford said the AMIEU had been negotiating with JBS Australia for more than 10 months for a new enterprise agreement for the plant before the action was undertaken.

"The AMIEU public holiday claim goes no further than to ensure employees will receive the equivalent number of hours for public holidays in a year that they would have received if they were not working a flexible rostering system, four days out of five, Monday to Friday, where some public holidays can be missed."

JBS Swift Australia meatworks director John Berry did not respond to The Queensland Times' requests for comment yesterday.

Topics:  australian bureau of statistics employer staff

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