PRIMO AND TEYS BOTH COMMENCE UNION AGREEMENT TALKS
2008 is showing a trend to more sustainable industrial relations with 2 of the 3 major users of AWA's in SA's meat industry agreeing to walk away from individual contract arrangements and negotiate Union Collective Agreements for their sites.
Teys Brothers in Naracoorte is SA's largest single species beef processor and employs some 300 workers.
This company has used AWA's since it commenced operations in 2000 and has been the centre of several major disputes as workers have tried unsuccessfully over the years to replace their AWA's with collective agreements.
TeysBrothers have themselves elected to walk away from the AWA regime of the past few years and negotiate a union agreement.
At the same time the management of Primo meatworks at Port Wakefield has also agreed to commence negotiations for a Union Collective Agreement for that plant.
This is a good sign for the industrial landscape for most of South Australia as this major move by both companies comes at a time when most of the SA meat companies are due to negotiate new agreements.
Workers at Tatiara Meat Company appear to have (at the time of going to press) an agreement in principle for a new 3 year deal which is subject to an impending formal vote for acceptance.
Other workplaces up for discussions this year include kangaroo processor Australian Meats, Holco, Turners Butchers, Metro Velda, and the Big River Pork Meat Inspectors.