Americold Bargaining Update - United Workers Union


November EBA Report Back

At our last EBA meeting on 9th Nov 2020, we reported back to Americold regarding their log of claims. We let them know what claims members have rejected or willing to consider based on the majority of votes from members at our mass meetings.

This negotiation meeting was not very long due to technical issues and we spoke mainly on what workers felt about company claims. On Friday we anticipate to receive an initial package offer once they have considered our responses.




Fair Pay Rise (12% over 2 yrs).

No Wage offer yet. No Wage offer yet. This will be determined on the overall package & anticipate this to be on Friday November 13.

2 Year Agreement covering Victoria.

REJECTED – AMC want 4 years.

REJECTED We believe we can be more flexible on this claim if the company is willing to meet us halfway

No Pick Rates, Variance or Incentive Scheme.

REJECTED – but talks are continuing & no pick rate claims to be sent to company.

We served them an ideal clause.

Performance Standard or Rate :

The Company does not recognise and will not introduce (formally or informally) an enforceable performance standard or rate. Americold expects and will manage Team Members based on the Team Member working to the best of their individual ability consistent with the principle of a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.  

This will not remove the variance or wfm, but will prevent the company from disciplining workers on those systems. There are already three Coles DCs with this clause, so we know companies can operate successfully with this claim.

Redundancy Improvements (Model Clause incl. No Cap).

REJECTED – Adjusted clause to be sent to company. We served them an ideal clause.


Minimum severance standard of 5 weeks per year, uncapped

Early release (voluntary redundancies) based on tenure, especially for those on compassionate grounds (Caring responsibilities, age, health etc)

Agency workers receive $1,000 per year of service while engaged under the host employer 

Financial advice worth $5,000 per member that is accessible for a period of two years post redundancy

Unlimited mental health support where required for a period of two years post redundancy.

Early Morning Shift Allowance incl. 10min Break Time if starting prior to 5am.


Base rate increased to double time over weekends and Permanent Employees able to work 7 Days.

REJECTED – AMC want to reduce Sunday Penalty from 80% to 75%. REJECTED

Workers able to take RDOs over their full roster with no Black Out periods for RDOs or Annual Leave.

CONSIDERING – AMC does think they could provide RDOs over blackout periods & from mon – fri. RDO for sat & Sun still waiting on info. Annual no answer yet.

CONSIDERING Still waiting, more information Friday November 13.

Permanent workers to enjoy same benefits for Public Holidays as Part Timers in Clause 5.7.2.

REJECTED – AMC want to remove this benefit from Part Timers. REJECTED

Training & Rotation Improvements – clarity on Step Ups/Team Leader Roles plus permanents given priority of upskilling and rotation.

CONSIDERING – AMC wants to remove the team leader role but are not clear on how step ups come into this. They are open to the Training CONSIDERING – We communicated that those level 3s (team leaders) would like more certainty on when their circumstances might change, instead of leaving it to chance in the future.

On rotation and training, the company have said they are in alignment with us on that. Details to be seen Friday November 13.

Increased Sick/Personal Leave Entitlements.

REJECTED – AMC wants to reward workers for not taking unplanned, unpaid leave. This may be a shed reward, then individual. No details on what that looks like as yet. REJECTED

Higher Super Contribution.

REJECTED – but will comply with legislation if this changes. REJECTED

Shift Allowances applied to leave and RDO entitlements + allowance to be paid from afternoon shift start time onwards.

CONSIDERING – AMC put forward they could apply the shift allowances to annual leave but that would mean all shifts give up the 17.5% annual leave loading…doesn’t work for day shift at all! Discussion still going for Toil & RDOs.
REJECTEDAfternoon Loading

Night Shift able to work a Full Time Roster.

CONSIDERING – AMC put forward the 4×10 rosters could help with this & they are open to Night Shift having the option of FT but as yet not guaranteed. REJECTED due to uncertainty…

Americold have said they cannot guarantee a full time roster as night shift volumes are decreasing & that might be worse next year. They are telling us the structure in play at the moment may change but they will know more on December 6.

We asked if they were thinking of removing the night shift or going to a skeleton crew. AMC said they have no ambition to do that right now & it will depend on the tender with Woolworths.

Paid Breaks – 2 x 20mins.

CONSIDERING – AMC said it will not increase the amount of break time but they could look at the current make up being 1 hr total. They suggest 2x30min or 3x20min breaks REJECTED





4 Year Agreement – (Clause 1.3).

CONSIDERING – We believe we can be more flexible on this claim if the company is willing to meet us halfway

Any employee who has absented themselves on leave without pay from their ordinary roster during the week, will not be eligible for extra day(s) overtime including weekends for that week; (4.2.3).

CONSIDERING – We believe we can be more flexible on this claim if the company is willing to meet us halfway in regard to keeping the evidence. If a worker can provide evidence then we believe this clause shouldn’t apply.

Remove the evidence and notification and just include; Where an employee fails to present to work that over time shift they will not be eligible for any over time for the next two weeks (Clause 4.2.5).


Put a limit on personal leave that can be accrued for payout (Clause

CONSIDERINGThere is already a Clause for cashing out personal leave annually. AMC would like the cashing out amount to be capped at five (5) days (40hours) & have a remaining balance of fifteen (15) days.

Removal of TOIL (Clause 4.7).


Normalise pay on stocktake dates – pay normal OT instead of triple time (Clause 4.2.3).

REJECTED Due to the minimal impact it has on workers however this may be something we need to consider further depending on the company’s response Friday. 
Removal of Team Leader Level 3 and all relating clauses and references to Team Leaders. CONSIDERING – AMC said they would ‘grandfather’ (freeze) the condition of these remaining 13 level 3s. This would mean at a later date those circumstances could change. We asked for more certainty.

Introduce: In the event the Company introduces heated forklift cabs, freezer allowance and freezer breaks do not apply; (Include in clause 3.3.2).


Eliminate the pre-2009 part-time restrictions; (Clause 4.1.2).


Part time employee not entitled for public holiday on non – roster day. Part time associates only to be entitled to Public holidays if it falls within their rostered hours. (Clause 5.7.2).


Reward for absenteeism rates being below a specific percentage; (New clause).

CONSIDERING – This does not negatively affect our members. Americolds idea is for a monetary reward for workers if the site reaches below a certain percentage for unpaid, unplanned leave e.g 3%

Reduction in Sunday Penalty rate of ordinary hours work to 75% (Clause 3.8.2).


We feel that while our conditions are good at Americold they are under threat by a competitive industry and automation. Together as a collective we bargain to protect those hard won conditions and stand united to win the best outcome for all members.

Reminder there will be an initial package offer presented Friday which we will report back to members in Mass Meetings and via texts the following week.