First ever Bega Cheese factory strikes planned

Bega Cheese workers to strike over pay dispute


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Workers endorse first strike in dairy company's history over pay dispute at Bega factory.

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Bega Cheese workers have endorsed industrial action this week over a pay dispute at the company's Bega factory.

The company's Australian Meat Industry Employees' Union members will strike on Friday, with other workers reportedly set to strike early next week, after the company refused to offer pay rises above 2.5 per cent on Tuesday.

AMWU NSW secretary, Patricia Fernandez, said the strike action will be the first worker's strike in the company's history.

"Workers have bargained in good faith and are making reasonable demands at the table", she said.

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"They have made the historic decision to take industrial action because Bega Cheese refuses to give them a fair pay rise."

Workers at the facility are represented by the AMIEU, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Electrical Trades Union, and further industrial action is planned, the AMIEU said.

"All unions are united in the fight for a better deal for Bega and will continue to campaign until workers get the respect they deserve," ETU state secretary Justin Page said.

READ ALSO: Bega Cheese's Barry Irvin wins top dairy industry award

A previous offer put to staff by the company was rejected by a "significant majority of workers", the AMIEU said.

"The board of directors are happy to award themselves a pay rise of 2.7pc, but when it comes to the workers who actually manufacture this product, they say that 2.5 per cent is good enough," AMWU state secretary, Steve Murphy said.

"With a national wages crisis, we expect local employers such as Bega Cheese to acknowledge the important role they play in keeping local economies growing"

"Bega Cheese has relied on the hard work of locals for decades to deliver their iconic Australian product, and should recognise that without workers, there would be no profits."

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The story First ever Bega Cheese factory strikes planned first appeared on Farm Online.

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