ETU members working for Silanna – a Sydney based manufacturing company producing computer components – yesterday sealed a new workplace agreement delivering a 9% wage increase over three years and increases to compassionate leave entitlements and no trade off’s.
ETU Organiser Ben Lister said that members had set their sights on a 5% annual increase but said the final outcome was an excellent result given the state of the manufacturing sector in Sydney and across the state.
“Wages growth in the private sector for the past year was 2.2 per cent which goes to show the deal secured by the ETU for our members at Silanna is a great result.” Ben said.
“The manufacturing sector is under pressure and in some places like the steel industry and food manufacturing ETU members have been forced to choose between job cuts or total plant closure, let alone even considering wage increases.”
On another front ETU members working for Parmalat – a major milk producer – will be voting in the next week on a new agreement that will deliver annual increases of 3.25% over a four year agreement delivering total wage increases of 13% for ETU members.
In addition to the healthy pay rise ETU members also secured clauses meaning part-time and casual workers will be offered permanent roles after a six month period, a commitment to engage electrical apprentices and include apprentice rates in the agreement, introduction of a new classification structure and grandfather clause meaning no worker will be disadvantaged and strengthening the existing consultation clause and union delegates charter.
Outside of the agreement Parmalat have also committed to investing in mechanical and electrical workshop upgrades which will improve working conditions for ETU members.
“Negotiations at Parmalat were efficient, mature and constructive with the employer listening to the concerns of workers and offering a fair outcome.” Ben said.
“With CPI currently running at 2.1 percent the outcome at Parmalat delivers real wage growth for ETU members of more than 1.1 per cent every year – this is a really good outcome at a time when redundancies are becoming the norm.” said Ben.
"While we may not have secured every single thing our members wanted when you look at the health of the manufacturing sector and national wage growth ETU members have done bloody well." finished Ben.
ETU members working at Parmalat will vote over the next week on the proposed agreement with the ETU encouraging members to support the deal.