Americold Bargaining Update – United Workers Union

AMERICOLD UWU MEMBERS


February EBA Negotiations Update

At the start of this process we had members filling out surveys telling us what they wanted to win. The majority of those responses contained the claims still outstanding below. Members are telling us they would be happy to take the wage offer put forward on the 3-year deal if Americold would genuinely consider the outstanding claims. Members are not really asking for more money! We want to improve the working conditions at site that will ensure workers have the best chance to work at Americold for the next 5-10 years or longer!

WHAT MEMBERS CLAIMS HAVE WE WON AFTER 9 HARD MEETINGS?

  • RDOs over a worker’s full roster including weekends (no cost)

  • Training & Rotation Improvements but this is an ongoing challenge that will need to be reviewed constantly. (no cost more than normal & something that should have been in place already like Laurel (previous GM) told us it would start in Feb 2020)

  • OPTION B = 3-year agreement

    Members have voted to endorse this claim! Some said they would prefer more % which we put to the company but a majority seems ok with the below so long as Americold would address some of the outstanding claims below.

    • Year 1: $35.22 + 2.25% (0.792c) = $36.01

    • Year 2: $36.01 + 2.5% (0.900c) = $36.91

    • Year 3: $36.91 + 2.75% ($1.01) = 37.92 = 7.5% over 3 years

WHAT MEMBERS CLAIMS ARE STILL OUTSTANDING?

  1. Performance Standard or Rate: (no cost)

    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.

    If Americold brings in an incentive rate for most roles (which is what they have said they will do) those roles will become measurable. This means a worker can get the incentive but also roles like loading etc have potential to be penalised if not meeting targets. Pick Rates have been the biggest challenge we have faced over the years. This clause is the most effective way to ensure workers are not hurting themselves mentally or physically as the demand from Coles & Woolies gets ever higher. We just cannot rely on companies to put workers’ safety over customer demands, so let’s use this opportunity to do it right!|

  2. Redundancy: (no cost to Woolies)
    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)


    Americold has not agreed to any changes, no guarantees for the oldest or longest serving and they have told us that there WILL BE REDUNDANCIES!

    We know the warehousing industry is changing as demonstrated by the automation of Woolies & Coles sites across the country. Americold knows this and has just dropped 2.43 Billion on Doughboy up in QLD. Americold has plenty of money and workers are not being greedy, they just want to ensure the many years they have worked at Americold be considered when we KNOW redundancies will happen. 

  3. Early Morning Shift Allowance incl. 10min Break Time if starting prior to 5am:
    This was removed a year or so ago as the company realised they didn’t have to pay according to the EBA. Workers were very angry at the time and Americold has saved money on this. If Americold wants to regularly roster workers outside of ordinary hours then they should be compensating the workers fairly. QLD gets double time if coming in early so what do you think would be a fair compromise?

  4. Clarity on Step Ups/Team Leader Roles (only 13 workers): (no cost)

    How can we in good conscience remove the Level 3 team leader rate with no guarantee to these remaining workers they would get a fair offer? Look what happened with the Team Leaders. They were initially given 2 weeks to make a life changing decision and leveraged into taking a pay cut, voluntary redundancy or if they wanted to stay, become a manager…the company has plenty of flexibility, let’s just make it fair.

  5. Night Shift able to work a Full Time Roster –
    Night Shift took a pay cut when they had to choose between going to Part Time or going to another shift. This was a move to help Americold get the Woolies contract over a year ago! Then, management went back on their verbal agreement of ensuring these workers would still get the 80 hours personal leave. Are our members really being unreasonable to ask for job security?

If we do not get agreements in writing we are opening ourselves up to further interpretation which was one of the biggest gripes we heard from workers. Companies do not give workers benefits unless is it beneficial to them e.g. sick leave incentive

They are a company and want to make money but so do we! We want Americold to do well & get the contract but not at the detriment to workers’ health and conditions. This industry is changing and we have been asking Americold about the Woolies contract since 2017!

They offered to build a shed on the front paddock. They have done up all entrances and exits, improved security, modified the toilets & lunchrooms, but did they get better machines? Do not leave your conditions up to the whims of Woolies or Coles. Let’s stand united and firm on our claims that we know will make Americold an even better place to work!

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