SPC brings in the lawyers in enterprise agreement negotiations

Food company SPC Global has called in the lawyers over its negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) involving the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU).

The company, a key employer in the Shepparton area in Victoria, said the company after working closely with the AMWU for several months had been ‘forced’ to engage with its legal representatives after discovering the AMWU advised members not to attend SPC management briefings.

It said until recently matters had been progressing well in line with the Bargaining Protocols established at the beginning of negotiations.

Recently however, SPC’s invitation to their people to attend smaller management briefings were poorly attended – only 40 of 400 SPC people attended.

SPC blames this on a bulk text they had received from David Fox of the AMWU that read: “Frm: david.fox Sub: As SPC didn’t come to the table it would be a good statement not to turn up to company feedback meetings. AMWU”.

SPC Global CEO Robert Giles, said: “SPC is appalled at AMWU’s cavalier approach to bargaining with good will, particularly against the backdrop of the Job and Skills Summit, when trust that all parties will observe the rules of engagement, in whatever is revised, is critical.

“We are of the view that David Fox’s text is not consistent with the spirit with which SPC has approached bargaining to date and above all is self-serving and not member serving.”

Giles said Fox was relatively new to the company and was not familiar with its operations.

“We believe this action challenges the necessary trust required between parties and strong relations SPC has always had and will always seek to build with our people. Such trust has to be a critical feature in our industrial relations landscape.

“Most importantly, it denies their members the right to decide for themselves, informed by multiple perspectives. We believe it is an insult to our good people, who we know to be more than capable of drawing their own conclusion after considering all points of view.”

Giles said SPC remained committed to following due process, bargaining with employees and the AMWU with good will, and achieving an outcome of mutual benefit.

SPC: factory sales

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