The TWU has positive news for members following extended discussions held with Murray Goulburn since this week’s announcement that the company will close three factories within the next 18 months.
Murray Goulburn notified the Australian Securities Exchange on Tuesday that the Rochester and Kiewa factories in northern Victoria will cease all operations by mid- to late-2018 and early-2019 respectively and the Edith Creek factory in north Tasmania will shut down in mid-2018. Up to 360 workers will lose their jobs.
After extensive discussions with Murray Goulburn, the TWU currently believes there will be nil reduction in truck driver staffing requirements and anticipates all TWU members will hold their jobs.
Murray Goulburn are currently finalising close down plans but, obviously enough, drivers who wish to remain with Murray Goulburn may need to drive to other processing plants from pick-up points either in Rochester or other dairy areas. Affected members should note that while the TWU has put a high priority on ensuring those members who wish to stay with Murray Goulburn are disrupted as little as possible – this situation must remain AT THIS STAGE only until drivers are actually re-deployed.
TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said a TWU joint-consultative committee, including Branch organisers and delegates, will remain engaged with the company in order to ensure the best possible outcome for not only members currently at the three factories to close but across the entire group. The TWU will hold weekly meetings with the company going forward to address any issues raised by the membership or the company.
The Union will also be providing updates to members through our journal, website and social media as necessary.
“The TWU will fight tirelessly to make sure these members, some who have been with the Union for decades, are cared for appropriately. We will also work with the cooperative, where possible, to ensure that the company remains viable in order to secure remaining positions across the enterprise,” John said.
“Our members have given so much to the co-operative for so many years and Murray Goulburn members will have the full protection and support that being with the TWU offers.”
The Rochester closure will occur in two stages with the majority of operations closing initially.
The TWU also understands that some members will be impacted by these closures indirectly or in more peripheral ways, particularly those who drive delivery and general freight in dropping supplies and maintenance items and waste management drivers. We will be working with any members who need assistance through this period.