19/03/2009 - 11:14

Harvey Beef offers same deal again

19/03/2009 - 11:14

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The state's meatworkers union has recommended Harvey Beef employees reject the same collective agreement that is again being offered by the company today.

The state's meatworkers union has recommended Harvey Beef employees reject the same collective agreement that is again being offered by the company today.

The offer comes a week after the company sacked a third of its workforce in a bid to stay economically viable.

Harvey Beef today said in a statement that while last week's 160 redundancies was "regrettable", the company's wage structure in some areas still needed to change to match its competitors.

Under the proposed agreement, 70 per cent of workers will be on the same wages or higher, while there will be a reduction for 30 per cent of employees to match wages for similar positions at other companies, Harvey Beef said today.

The meatworkers union said the offer will predominately cut wages by some 20 per cent, with wages to stay at that level for a minimum of three years.

A spokesperson for Harvey Beef confirmed to WA Business News that it is the same proposal that was rejected at a workers meeting last week.

Harvey Beef general manager operations Dean Goode said the collective agreement would be put to workers without the endorsement of the Australian Meat Industry Employees Union.

"I am confident that our workforce is beginning to realise and accept the need to peg wage costs at comparative levels to our competitors," he said.

A vote on the proposal will take place in seven days.

Union head Graeme Hayes said he was disappointed the company is offering the same agreement and that it was "entirely predictable given the nature of how this company now operates".

"I sincerely hope that workers are not fooled by this or intimidated by the very hostile reaction that the company has taken with its workforce, many of whom have in excess of 30 years experience," he said.

 

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