General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

General Trade, Mining and Manufacturing

Poor performance takes the fizz out of Coke

Paul Lister - Wednesday, December 02, 2015

During 2014 Coca Cola experienced a substantial drop in volumes of product being manufactured, a substantially drop in profit and a dramatic drop in their Share price. ETU members have been fighting ever since – both to save jobs and to secure a decent EBA outcome.

Senior Management along with a new CEO analysed the national footprint of manufacturing plants around Australia to assess their on-going viability. The results of that review placed the Northmead Plant in NSW in serious jeopardy of plant closure displacing some 200 workers.

Negotiations for a new Supply Chain Enterprise Agreement commenced in the middle of management’s decision process, meaning, to save the plant and ETU jobs workers were faced with a wage reduction and a reduction in hours.

Initially, losses for some workers were around $20K to $25K going from 12hour shifts back to 8hr shifts and day work.

Negotiations involving all ETU Delegates in the Supply Chain managed to negotiate minimal losses for workers including redundancies, a lower set of pay rates for new starters. A zero % increase to current rates of pay for the first 18ths, with increases to rates of pay coming from reaching Production KPI targets in the last 18ths of the agreement.

Over 155 ETU members in Supply Chain, after understanding the likelihood of plant closure, voted overwhelming to accept the pain, accept the Agreement and maintain the longevity of the Production Plant.

Since their acceptance, the ETU and Management are working together to increase the volume at the Northmead Plant to recover the losses in working hours, and resume the 12hr 24/7 operations at the Plant.

Other Plants around Australia are now experiencing the same pain, with dramatic windback in hours and rates of pay at the Moorabin plant in Victoria and substantial industrial unrest over the enterprise agreement currently being negotiated at The Richlands Plant in Queensland.

A reduction in the normal operations is also being experienced in the Perth Plant.

These plants are under constant threat of closure or termination of their Enterprise Agreements taking rates of pay back to the Award.

ETU members throughout these tough times remain united and are working to recover the Business outcomes along with recovering their hard earnt Wages and Conditions.

Why should workers have to make the sacrifices when Management have, to a large degree, mis-managed the business, given their awareness of the ever increasing effects of competition in the Food and Beverage market place.