Fonterra will wind up 44 jobs at its yoghurt manufacturing plant at Echuca during the next month.August 19, 2014 3:08am
Fonterra will wind up 44 jobs at its yoghurt manufacturing plant at Echuca during the next month.
AMWU’s food and confection division regional secretary Tom Hale said there was a declining volume going through the Echuca site.
The union is talking to management and staff about how the redundancy payments are to be made and a meeting is to be held this Wednesday.
A total of 44 positions will be lost, with 38 people expected to be made redundant, as six vacant positions had not been filled.
The redundancies will be offered to employees in the production, maintenance, logistics and quality areas at the site.
‘‘We’ll be meeting to sort out a number of issues under the certified agreement,’’ Mr Hale said.
‘‘The members have seen a decline in volume going through the site.
‘‘There seems to be a change in people’s tastes towards natural yoghurts and Greek-style yoghurts, rather than the sweeter varieties.’’
The company’s ingredients and operations director Bruce Donnison said seven new roles with new responsibilities were being created to ‘‘better service the site for future success’’.
‘‘We do not make these decisions lightly, but we need to right-size the site against our current and projected volumes and keep the site competitive for the long-term,’’ he said.
‘‘Throughout the process, Fonterra Australia will work closely with the relevant unions and all affected employees and their families to support them and provide comprehensive outplacement, support and counselling services.
‘‘Fonterra remains firmly committed to manufacturing in Australia and the future of our Echuca plant and its community.’’
The cuts mean almost a quarter of the current 160-strong employees will depart.
Mr Donnison, who oversees all Fonterra factories, said the cuts would ‘‘improve the site’s productivity and make the site more competitive for the long-term’’.
Staff were informed of the decision last Tuesday and those impacted by the redundancies are encouraged to apply for the new roles.
Fonterra’s Echuca site is home to many of the company’s yoghurts and dairy desserts, including Ski, Nestlé Soleil, CalciYum and Nestlé Desserts.
The site, formerly owned by Nestlé, was producing more than 40
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