Victorian dairy strike over after unions broker pay rise for 1,400 factory workers
The dairy worker strikes in Victoria have resulted in notable improvements for workers, including a processor's offer of a 12% pay rise over three years, up from the previous offer of 10.5%. The strikes, led by two unions, had caused disruptions in dairy production, leading to the dumping and wasting of tens of thousands of liters of milk. The recent agreement between unions and four major processors, including Saputo, Peters Ice Cream, and Lactalis, addresses wage increases for over 1,000 dairy factory workers.
The United Workers Union announced that the majority of the 1,400 dairy workers secured a 5% pay rise in the first year, addressing the cost-of-living crisis. This pay rise represents a significant improvement from the 2.5% increase received by dairy workers during the pandemic. The agreement covers improved personal leave, shift allowances, and additional provisions, such as paid emergency services leave and domestic violence leave.
Fonterra, a major player in the industry, reached an in-principle deal with the United Workers Union, averting a potential six-day strike by workers at Fonterra sites. Fonterra's offer includes a 5% pay increase in the first year, 4% in the second year, and 3% in the third year of the enterprise bargaining agreement, along with enhancements to various allowances and leaves.
The resolutions mark a positive development for dairy workers in Victoria, providing them with improved wages and conditions after a period of industrial action and negotiations.