Wilmar Strikes Escalate


AWU members at Wilmar Sugar are escalating their industrial action at the beleaguered sugar giant’s North Queensland mills after another unproductive bargaining meeting on Wednesday.

Workers attended a bargaining meeting with Wilmar on Wednesday in the hope of reaching a fair pay rise that reflected their worth and the company’s massive profits.

AWU Northern District Secretary Jim Wilson said that workers are bargaining with Wilmar in good faith.

“Unfortunately, after arriving to the bargaining meeting over an hour late, Wilmar has still not budged on their bad offer, only offering fractional movements on conditions and no change to the pay rise.”

“We have been bargaining in good faith with the company, and we have shown that by reducing our wage claim by 3%,”

“We were hopeful that we wouldn’t have to go ahead with the Thursday strikes if the meeting went well – unfortunately, it did not.”

Mr Wilson said that the company’s inability to compromise with its workers will mean prolonged industrial action at its mills.

“Unfortunately, Wilmar’s unwillingness to compromise means that the Thursday strike went ahead with vigour, and we are escalating industrial action across the board.”

“Wilmar is trying to dictate the terms of bargaining, but that is ultimately futile because workers are willing to continue striking for as long as it takes to reach a deal.”

“We are not asking for the world in terms of a pay rise, we just want our members to be compensated fairly for the work they do at a time where Wilmar is making record profits. “

Wilmar is also attempting to bring in foreign labour to paper over their inability to bargain with the North Queensland community.

The AWU has received notice that Wilmar is attempting to bring in 16 workers from Fiji to take up work in their milling operations.

“Wilmar is trying to save a quick buck yet again by bringing in foreign workers to bust up our strike action,” Mr Wilson said.

“These jobs should be going to people in the sugar communities around these mills, so that the money goes back into the local economy.”

“This will be called out by our community for what it is – an attempt to drive down local wages and conditions,”

“If Wilmar keep going down this path, they will be doing their brand irreparable damage in the North.”

/Public Release.