Workers told they won't work if they take industrial action
MEAT workers have been told they "won't be required" at work on Saturday or Monday if they take part in industrial action as a part of a long-running pay dispute.
A number of Primo Foods Wacol employees will clock off halfway through their shifts today, no closer to reaching a compromise with parent company JBS.
Negotiations over a new enterprise agreement have dragged on since the start of the year and are at a stalemate.
Workers in the Wacol factory have voted down three proposals, which have fallen short of the requested 3 per cent pay increase.
Employees are also seeking back pay or a sign-on bonus equivalent to the extra money they feel they should have been receiving in the meantime.
Australasia Meat Industry Employees Union organiser Warren Earle said JBS' most recent offer was a 2 per cent pay rise on ratification with the Fair Work Commission, one $290 giftcard on agreement and another of the same value on ratification.
The union attempted to compromise at 2.5 per cent but JBS would not budge.
Mr Earle said the requested pay rise was close to the minimum wage adjustment during the past three years.
He said most of the workers in the factory are on about 12 cents above award wage.
Mr Earle said as ratification could take months, it would be well into next year before workers get the pay rise.
A notice from JBS stated workers who took part in industrial action today would not be required for any potential overtime on Saturday and will not be required for work on Monday.
Mr Earle said workers are worried the lock out will be extended if they take part.
"We're at a stalemate," he said.
"It's not a very good work environment at the moment.
"We had between 200 and 300 people take part in the last stoppage."
JBS did not respond to a request for comment.