AUSTRALIA: Bundaberg workers face three-day lockout
Published: 07/18/2012, 10:55:24 AM
Bundaberg Sugar has locked workers out of its south-east Queensland mill for three days, as negotiations with unions reach boiling point, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Last week, more than 70% of workers voted against a new agreement that included a 3.5% pay rise and abolishing rostered days off.
General manager David Pickering says the lockout is in response to planned stoppages.
"Rolling stoppages make it impossible to operate our factory and we will be locking out workers from start of the shift this morning," he said.
"After we made an offer last week they escalated the industrial action before considering another offer that we indicated we'd be making today and were quite happy to negotiate."
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) says it is hoping an agreement can be reached.
AMWU spokesman Brad Hansen says it needs to be resolved quickly.
"I'm led to believe the company have a counter proposal or another offer they want to put as part of this meeting," he said.
"We have given an undertaking obviously that we want to hear what that is and there are some other parts of the documents that need some further wording.
"So we want to use today to attempt to finalise that side of things."