The real lowdown on the SPC Admona Enterprise Agreement

If any Cats were watching Insiders this morning, you would have noticed Barrie Cassidy and Dennis Atkins bending over backwards to mislead us about the contents of the SPC Ardmona enterprise agreement.  (The AMWU or someone from the Labor Party had obviously got in their respective ears.)

No, no, no … sick leave isn’t paid out.  Redundancy payments have been cut back from a maximum of 2 years to 1 year.  There is no overtime.  Nothing to see, just move on.

The real problem for these apologists is that the SPC Ardmona Enterprise Agreement is a public document and anyone can check it out.  I suggest Sharman Stone check it out before she continues to blather on in complete ignorance.

It is a very depressing document, including the fact that the AMWU is a formal party to the agreement that is not necessary under the Fair Work Act. It is full of mumbo-jumbo, excessive union influence and over the top conditions.

Here are some of the core features of the excessively lengthy and guffy document:

  • Up to 20 days of unused sick leave is paid out when an employee leaves the company;
  • Only recent employees are limited to one year pay on redundancy/severance – all others (and this will be virtually all of them) can receive up to 104 weeks pay (4 weeks for each year of service) and for very some very long term employees, the figure is even higher;
  • And wait for this – there is a loading on the lump sum according to the age of the employee, starting from aged 50;
  • SPC Ardmona is a union shop, with the company agreeing to a union representative attending induction and agreeing to encourage union membership;
  • There are 8 union reps on site (shop stewards) and they are entitled to 5 days paid leave to attend  trade union training.  They can also undertake union business on company time;
  • Overtime is paid at pretty much standard rates it would seem – eg. time and a half on Saturdays (so much for Barrie’s assertion there);
  • And wait for this, the workers receive a Rostered Day Off every month;
  • And then there are ridiculous allowances, such a having a first aid certificate, container allowance, bright can allowance (I am not making this up), wet place allowance, cold allowance;
  • Annual leave looks excessive – 28 days, compared with the norm of 20 days, with leave loading paid for the full period;
  • Compulsory income protection insurance (a union racket for which the company pays part of the premium)

And the list goes on.  There is some ridiculous arrangement called The Council, which is clearly an impediment to managers making decisions, outlined in the agreement.

As to rates of pay, they look pretty generous when you add in the allowances and overtime, etc.

Take a S5 production worker (middle of the range), for instance, currently hourly rate of pay is $26.15. And bear in mind, the workers are living in Shepparton or close by.

This agreement is just typical of the destructive agreements that pervade lots of parts of manufacturing.  To think that Australia has a future in food processing with this sort of legal instrument in place is just fanciful.

 

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136 Responses to The real lowdown on the SPC Admona Enterprise Agreement

  1. james

    Barrie Cassidy fudging the truth to benefit the left?

    I don’t believe you, I simply don’t.

    After all the ABC is unbiased.

    Charlie Pickering said so.

  2. A mid-range production worker on $26 an hour? And they claim wages are a factor in the business not making enough money to cover its costs…

    What sort of qualifications would one of these production workers hold?

    And those on the left still need the reasons why we’re rapidly becoming a country that makes nothing to them…

  3. Makka

    Like james, I’m shocked to hear that ALPBC is not reporting the facts and they have again resorted to spin favoring their LeftGreen bias. Shocked!

    Could someone (Malcolm?) please make them accountable to their charter?

  4. Robbo

    Now let me see if I can figure out why SPC is not profitable. Maybe the AMWU can help me with an answer to that question.

  5. Ronaldo

    As the ABC audit and the SPC decision are currently the two top stories on the Australian website, I hope that you will present all this information in one of your columns. Most Cat readers have little difficulty in accepting the extent to which the ABC distorts news; now is an excellent time to reinforce any doubts the general public might have about the BetrABC.

  6. H B Bear

    As a pox doctor once said, “A scrotum can’t change its spots.”

  7. steve

    Every company that comes to the public’s attention on “more government subsidies” has one thing in common. All have been garroted by unions and their workplace agreements. Changing the laws via Work Choices did not work for the Libs. This new tack will as it is the unions that have killed jobs not the Libs.
    Has anyone ever noticed how the Union movement is happier with fifty highly paid workers and fifty unemployed rather than one hundred workers with reasonably paid jobs? After all, there is only one bucket of money.

  8. H B Bear

    Looks like the nation’s former First Mousse Salesman will have some competition for fishing spots along the Murray when those SPC Ardmona redundancy cheques start clearing.

    He won’t be happy about that.

  9. Notafan

    Typically the factory floor gets paid more than the engineers etc who no doubt are not even eligible for overtime, and what about work practices ? Interesting to know how much waste occurs because of restrictive work practices. Lots of games can be played to get management to agree to nearly anything for industrial peace.
    Always remember doing the tour at Cadburys in Hobart and seeing a apparantly never ending stream of confectionary falling off the end of the line because no-one was boxing it.

  10. jumpnmcar

    Take a S5 production worker (middle of the range), for instance, currently hourly rate of pay is $26.15.

    No, it’s much higher.
    The only true ” hourly rate ” is gross annual income divided by hours worked in that year.
    And take it up with government how much remains after taxes.

  11. jumpnmcar

    Judith
    If this agreement outrages you, try digging into some MUA agreements!
    Plenty happened very quietly in the last 6 years.

  12. This is nothing more than economic sabotage. Stalin would have had these bastards shot.

  13. Colmac

    Barry Cassidy can polish a turd to shining brilliance…. But it is still a turd.

  14. Ubique

    The 28 consecutive days of annual leave includes non-working days – so I guess that still means 4 weeks. Annual leave is accrued at a rate of 2.923 hrs per 38 ordinary hours worked.

    Apart from the rigidity of the working arrangements, a real problem is that the 95 page agreement would cost SPC a fortune to administer. Avoiding abuse of the conditions and a blow-out in costs would require constant vigilance by management and very careful rostering.

    The agreement has been written to guarantee the failure of the enterprise. There’s no way taxpayers be should bailing out this mess.

  15. Bob

    Some years ago, the standing joke amongst offshore helicopter pilots was that they were the lowest paid workers on the oil rig when they landed there.

    From at least the early 80s, the oil rig kitchen hands travelled Business Class but, that was many strong arm tactics ago. Maybe they travel First Class now.

    Bloody unions.

  16. Adam d

    The condition I can’t get my head around and I am pretty sure Toyota and Holden had it as well is the paid leave for union training. These companies are actively helping and paying for a weaker positioning in wage agreements. It’s like buying weapons for your enemy, it’s unfathomable (if that’s a word)

  17. “This is nothing more than economic sabotage. Stalin would have had these bastards shot.”

    Stalin would have everyone in and or associated with the plant shot, then replaced with some poor sods from the far reaches of the Soviet Empire, as an example of what to expect if people fail to toe the line and sort their problems out…

  18. “The condition I can’t get my head around and I am pretty sure Toyota and Holden had it as well is the paid leave for union training. These companies are actively helping and paying for a weaker positioning in wage agreements. It’s like buying weapons for your enemy, it’s unfathomable (if that’s a word)”

    But doesn’t the union receive dues to pay for its staff? So, essentially this is the union double-dipping, ad then black-mailing the poor unfortunate company in order to receive a financial benefit.

  19. Farmer Ted

    “Why should taxpayers’ money be taken from other parts of the economy to prop up one branch of a big and profitable company?”

    Here we see one of the great errors of our modern economic management. Hiding the micro behind the macro.

    The question is absolutely reasonable at face value. But what is this “one branch of a big and profitable company”?

    It is a smaller company, employing Australian workers, servicing Australian farmers and consumers to process their produce. It was also, before being flogged off by very foolish governments, Australian owned.

    This company has for a long time been labouring with a lot of lead in its saddle.

    Firstly, apparently in good times it has allowed its workers benefits which cannot easily be withdrawn in hard times.

    Secondly it is burdened with badly flawed government policies which severely depress its income.

    Here we see the very “dirty float” of our exchange rate, where, ever since the exchange rate was “floated”, it has been inflated by interest rates which have been high compared to the rest of the world, and the continual reduction of restrictions on foreign investment, which see us selling the house to buy the groceries, instead of generating income by exporting efficiently produced goods.

    The nominal purpose of the high interest rates was to contain inflation by reducing consumers’ buying power. However it contained (temporarily) inflation by inflating the exchange rate, making imported goods cheaper. This must ultimately increase inflation.

    This applied two pronged pressure to companies like Ardmona, by increasing their costs and forcing down the price of their produce.

    Whereupon the benefits allowed to workers become unsustainable.

    There is a third factor. The suicidally insane policy they call Unilateral Trade Reform, which sees Australia for the last 30 years slashing assistance to industry with the promise that if we take the moral high ground in economics the rest of the world will follow our example.

    The rest of the world showed not the slightest interest in our moral high ground, using it instead to take advantage of our stupidity. Yet that policy has been maintained in the face of failure now for over 25 years.

    Then look at the car industry. Whatever can it be that leads a bookworm to believe that component manufacturers are more able than car manufacturers to compete on the world market.

    This is dreamland stuff.

    In rural Australia the Howard government, applying much the same current conventional wisdom as Hawke and Keating, advanced the cause of Marxism more than Hawke did.

    In case the bookworms don’t know it, the primary goal of Marxism is to abolish private control of industry. In this, corporate capitalism, owned by “institutions”, leads the way.

    It’s way past time to ask: Who wrote the textbooks?

  20. DaveR

    Wake up SPC employees! Here’s how you keep SPC open and keep your jobs:

    1/ all resign from the union
    2/ individually negotiate a new employment agreements with SPC
    3/ commit SPC to a capital upgrade of the plant
    4/ continue working!

  21. sabrina

    Some of the awards are excessive – payment of sick leave is one example. Re the redundancy, after 26 years of service, $100,000 – not a huge amount.

    Having said that, overall with conditions as they are, CCA should not be asking for handouts. TA is absolutely right – the company is badly managed, both management and union are to blame for its self-inflicted predicament.

  22. boy on a bike

    paid leave for union training

    During the NSW election campaign, I was told that some union delegates marched into a workplace where a clause like this was in effect, rounded up all the staff, put them on buses and then drove them to a marginal electorate where they door knocked and pamphlet stuffed all day.

    Some unions have a funny way of defining “training” and “union business”.

  23. Ken N

    All true.
    But what has killed the company is the simple fact that very few of us buy canned fruit any more.
    When did you last buy a can of peaches or pairs?

    The industry was built to supply the UK under “empire preference” before the UK went into the EU.
    Since then it has been sliding into irrelevance.

    When CCA bought the company I could not imagine what they were thinking of.
    Seems they were not thinking.

  24. Robbo

    Ted
    “It is a smaller company, employing Australian workers, servicing Australian farmers and consumers to process their produce. It was also, before being flogged off by very foolish governments, Australian owned.”

    SPC wasn’t “flogged off” by any government.

  25. Ken N

    This, by the way, is the SPC product range.
    https://www.mycca.com.au/products-and-ordering/browse-products/spc

    How many of these do you have in your cupboard?

  26. Infidel tiger

    Ted
    “It is a smaller company, employing Australian workers, servicing Australian farmers and consumers to process their produce. It was also, before being flogged off by very foolish governments, Australian owned.”

    Coca Cola Amatil is an Australian company.

  27. Marco

    Check this EBA out. The Shire of Christmas Island EBA.

    http://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/agreements/fwa/AE886710.pdf

    The President of the shire and most Councillors are also the general secretary and executive of the Union of Christmas Island workers, so they negotiate and approve all EBA’s themselves.
    The cost to the tax payer is millions per year as the commonwealth subsidises the shire.
    This has to be the most generous of all EBA’s in existence.
    There is stuff in this EBA which would surprise many.
    Thousands of dollars worth of airfares for workers and family members, District allowances in excess of $20K per year,
    Leaving away from home allowances for workers children studying in Perth, sick leave paid out plus bonus for not taking any, and many many other goodies.

  28. yackman

    haven’t yet read the EBA but one needs to be careful about interpretation. For instance payout of Sick Leave on termination is a means of encouraging employees not to cut it out as it accrues, costing OT to cover the absence. It might be a bad reason but it still may be least cost.
    I worked in continuous manufacturing for 36 years, half of which was at Site Manager level in plants of around 200 employees. The benefits as described above are fairly common.

  29. Steve from Brisbane

    I do have tinned peaches in my pantry, Coles home brand from South Africa. Very nice.
    Nothing else from SPC, too expensive

    [Perhaps you want to choose a different ID - we already have a Steve from Brisbane. Sinc]

  30. Brian of Moorabbin

    Oh hey! Slats-boy is back! Hiya Stevie.

    Tony N AND Stevie, both in one day.

    Next we’ll see mOnty back making some wrongology claim about stagflation or how Obamacare is actually doing well….

  31. boy on a bike

    We go through a surprising amount of tinned fruit.

    It’s good when you’re feeling a bit under the weather the morning after. Especially tinned peaches.

  32. JC

    This, by the way, is the SPC product range.
    https://www.mycca.com.au/products-and-ordering/browse-products/spc

    How many of these do you have in your cupboard?

    I actually love canned peaches and apricots, particularly apricots. Try them, they’re really really good.

  33. Ken N

    “Coca Cola Amatil is an Australian company.”

    True, but controlled by Coca Cola.

  34. Sinclair Davidson

    Tinned fruit with evaporated milk is beautiful as a dessert.

  35. JC

    Stepford? You’re back?What happened to the self imposed exile and the fact that you need to spend time dealing with the climate models fiasco, along with the the possible cut off of the disability pension?

  36. JC

    True, but controlled by Coca Cola

    I thought they just bought the coke formula from them, no?

  37. “I thought they just bought the coke formula from them, no?”

    Coca-Cola is largely a franchise company, it sells the base product to suppliers who’ve purchased market rights. (As far as I understand it)

  38. CR

    Add 11.5% Super to the list.
    Having read through the EBA today I can confidently say PISSED OFF!

  39. Gretchen Sleeman

    The great pity of SPC is that it is not just a manufacturer of goods, like vehicles. It is the processor of clean, green Australian food, and that food comes from the Goulburn Valley, the Riverina, and other food bowls of Australia. That is the tragedy, when our own food no longer is processed. How can we have no Australian processor of our own food?
    The actual employees of SPC, ( whose over-inflated conditions and wages are a typical example of Union intervention over many years) are a minority of the community that could give us healthy, clean, trustworthy sourced food. The important and ignored people are the growers who will go out of business, and it is not their fault. The government should support SPC for this reason alone. It might need some hard talking, but should be do-able if the Liberals had some real sense. Instead they seem to be unable to think outside their preconceived notions that all applications for help are to be refused, regardless. This is a very, very sad day for agriculture in Australia.
    And anyone who thinks the Coles/Woolies home brands of South African peaches is a good replacement for Australian grown peaches obviously has a short memory.

  40. Gianna

    Still like the ole Baked Beans on toast occasionally…… and love the little individual serve packs of four of peaches etc. A nice sweet as mentioned earlier as well as with cereal in the am.

  41. Notafan

    At least the Christmas Island EBA might become redundant when the detention centre depopulates

  42. Infidel tiger

    Baked beans are great but not SPC’s. They are revolting. You can almost taste the mooching in every bite.

    Tinned fruit is great as long as it is surrounded by alcohol.

  43. Armadillo

    [Perhaps you want to choose a different ID - we already have a Steve from Brisbane. Sinc]

    That’s good advice to heed Steve. Your chosen screen name (around here at least) is like the equivalent of wearing a bikini in a mosque.

  44. tomix

    CCA owned an export mear co. from the 70s. Eventually they handed over IR responsibility to the shed officials and delegates, basically a bribe to keep the peace in return for doing nothing.
    Lowest tallies and highest pay in unionised Qld sheds, working day 7.00am- 1.15pm including 75minutes of breaks and other unbelievable conditions
    It couldn’t last long and it didn’t. Sold to Adelaide Steamships minus the previous award.

    Looks like the CCA SOP hasn’t changed. One way or another, Steamships Abbott is going to take their problem off their hands.

  45. Wallace

    How about a co-operative. Never been thought of before.
    All workers have a share. Profits go up, they get dividends.
    Profits go down, they take their share of grief.
    No unions.
    Everybody better off.
    Growers and canners in control.

  46. Gab

    How about a co-operative.

    Not sure their unions would allow such a thing.

  47. yackman

    Having now read the EBA, it is typical of EBA’s of large public manufacturing companies. What counts is the total cost per employee and the degree of flexibility within the workforce. A number of the provisions would have the effect of additional labour being employed relative to the minimum required to operate. The Wet/Cold/Hot allowances are of nuisance value and in most situations have been rationalised out, but not here. It would be interesting to know to what extent the AMWU & delegates exercise influence as provided for in the EBA.
    Denial of “co-investment” was correct in my view simply on the basis of that this is not the role of government.
    Changing the EBA might help but wont fix the situation; its usually too late.
    It is very unusual in my experience for employees to actually reject their union direction in order to preserve their jobs.

  48. gabrianga

    Cassidy and his comrade Atkins still laying the blame on the employers for paying up to union threats.

    Perhaps they should have a word with Mick or Tom about tactics used to scare the crap out of employers and at times their families.

    Must say this season’s “Insiders” started like another Labor Party commercial….surprise all round?

  49. chrisl

    I would bet that the people who make the whole cannery possible-the pickers- don’t have an EBA.
    They would be itinerant workers , backpackers , possibly illegals, True outsiders. Working on piece rates that they had no hand in bargaining.

  50. Walter Plinge

    “But what has killed the company is the simple fact that very few of us buy canned fruit any more. When did you last buy a can of peaches or pairs?”

    At least 20 years ago. As has been pointed out elsewhere who needs preserved fruit when fresh fruit is readily available most of the year? I bought US cherries late last year and they were fine.

    The days when dessert was tinned peaches with tinned cream or evaporated milk are long gone. They weren’t all that tasty anyway. They were actually quite unhealthy. It was the huge sugar load that made them edible. And now sugar is the evil-de-jour so we can expect sales to plummet further. Tinned fruit is like tripe, lambs’ brains and lambs’s fry – post-war economising that now serves no purpose.

  51. Wallace

    Gab..Brand new Company.
    How about a co-operative.
    All workers have a share.
    Profits go up, they get dividends.
    Profits go down, they take their share of grief.
    No unions.
    Everybody better off.
    Growers and canners in control.
    Back to the future. Been done before.

  52. Ziggyfish

    Overtime as described by the Agreement(Section S3.18):

    Day workers:
    (a) Monday to Friday inclusive
    For all time worked before 6.00 a.m. or after 6.00 p.m. or before the fixed starting time or
    after the fixed finishing time on any day, Monday to Friday inclusive, or in excess of eight
    ordinary hours on any such day -time and a half for the first three hours and double time
    thereafter, such double time to continue until the completion of the overtime work.

    (b) Saturday
    For all time worked on a Saturday until noon – Saturday Penalty Rates of time and a half
    for the first three hours and double time thereafter and after noon – double time will be
    paid.

    S3.18.3 Shift workers
    (a) For all time worked before the fixed starting time of any shift or after the fixed finishing
    time of any shift or in excess of eight hours on any shift, or in excess of 38 ordinary
    hours on shift in any week – time and a half for the first three hours and double time
    thereafter plus for all such overtime 20% of ordinary time if on afternoon shift or 30% of
    ordinary time if on night shift. Such entitlements shall continue until the completion of
    overtime work.

    (b) Where work commences on a Saturday until noon- Saturday Penalty Rates of time and
    a half for the first three hours and double time thereafter up to noon, plus for all such
    work 20% of ordinary time if on afternoon shift and after noon, double time, plus 20% of
    ordinary time if on afternoon shift or 30% of ordinary time on night shift will be paid.

    Some other interesting sections on the agreement:

    S2.10.10 Union Meetings
    Four union meetings per year (max 1 hour)
    Four management meetings per year
    Two union meetings paid in normal time, two outside normal hours to be paid at single time.
    Union meetings during the fruit processing season will not be held in normal time.

    S3.33.1 Company Superannuation Contributions for permanent employees shall be 11.5% consisting
    9% for the SGC legislation contribution and an additional 2.5%. The calculation for
    employees other than permanent shall be at the SGC legislation minimum rate which is
    currently 9%.

    S5.2 CONTAINER ALLOWANCE
    Permanent Employees operating forklifts to load export containers shall be paid an allowance of 73
    cents per hour whilst actually performing such work.

    S5.3 BRIGHT CAN STACKING ALLOWANCE
    Employees who are forklift drivers and who are stacking pallets of bright cans shall be entitled to an
    allowance of 50 cents per hour

    The main problem I think with the SPCA agreement is there is not one mention about productivity, not even in the performance criteria. In the performance criteria, there is only one section that relates to production volume and that has the lowest significance rating of all criteria. Quility Assurance has the second lowest rating.

    Maybe SPCA should look at that part of the agreement first?

  53. Gab

    I’m not disagreeing with you, Walter. Brand new company, all things being equal and if they can keep the unions out, then it could be profitable after all that’s how family run businesses start out (and small ventures). But money talks and it will come down to the tricky bits like cost of electricity, carbon tax burden, distribution costs, distribution channel costs, state and federal green/blue/red/black/rainbow tape and the expectation of workers willing to take a wage not commensurate with unionised wages and conditions. However, as in the case of restaurants, it was reported that the penalty rates was closing them on holidays and weekends but staff said they’d rather work for lower wages than no work at all. So you idea may be a goer.

    So, when are you going to start up this new cannery? I’d suggest you wait until SPC goes under then you’ll get the plant and equipment for a song :)

  54. Gab

    My apologies, Wallace, not Walter.

  55. JohnA

    Farmer Ted #1175307, posted on February 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm

    Then look at the car industry. Whatever can it be that leads a bookworm to believe that component manufacturers are more able than car manufacturers to compete on the world market.

    Could it be the fact that there are larger margins in spare parts than in whole cars? It has been long known that a car built out of spares would cost 3-4 times the showroom price of a whole new vehicle.

    Or possibly the simpler handling of components packed in bulk and shipped in containers rather than whole vehicles?

    Or maybe that components are commodity items requiring less marketing hype to sell, as compared to cars which are capital purchases and/or fashion items?

  56. steve

    Tinned fruit with evaporated milk is beautiful as a dessert.

    Condensed milk would be better

  57. stackja

    Barrie Cassidy and Dennis Atkins bending over backwards to mislead us

    Shock Horror!

  58. feelthebern

    Leather face kept saying this morn “have you read the agreement ?”.
    Maybe someone with bigger testes than mine should hit Cassidy up on twitter.
    Did he get help framing the questions to the minister this morn?
    Bottom line, he was fed union talking points.

  59. Jack

    TCCC owns roughly a third of CCL.

  60. sabrina

    Not sure that the CCA management believe in the SPC remaining a profitable venture even in the intermediate term. If they are asking for $25m (which is 7% of CCA’s 2013 EBIT) co-investment from commonwealth, why not achieve that by
    -bringing the CCA dividend to 2010 level (earning in 2013 remained similar to 2010 level, yet dividend increased by 30% during the period) and freeze for few more years
    - cut in directors salary to 2010 levels at least. freeze for few more years rather than increasing by 10% year on year
    - negotiate with unions for lower award conditions (appears SPC alone have about $32m pa salary bill) and cut in labor force (reasonable to expect following upgrade) through natural attrition.
    - negotiate with the government for a loan rather than handout

    The annual reports of CCA and a recent Australian Industry Visit report on SPC and ther allegation on dumping from South Africa is interesting reading. I doubt that either the management or the union have the appetite to take decisive action though.

    The federal government’s policy is right on this, not setting a precedent for propping handout begging industries, and protecting the taxpayers

  61. stackja

    CCA Company History
    1904 British Tobacco Company (Australia) Limited formed to take over a group of small tobacco companies, including WD & HO Wills (Australia) Limited.
    1994 CCA Chairman, Dean Wills, opens a new beverage manufacturing plant at Richlands in Brisbane, Australia.
    1994 CCA expands into the Ukraine, giving the Company access to a further 52 million people.
    1995 CCA acquires The Coca-Cola Company’s wholly owned bottling operation in Poland with the right to manufacture and distribute to approximately 60% of the Polish population and the right to supply products to the companies with distribution rights for the remainder of the country.
    2004 Acquisition of the Northern Territory Coca-Cola franchise from Parmalat Australia. This acquisition makes CCA the sole licensee of Coca-Cola products in Australia.
    2005 Acquisition of SPC Ardmona Limited, Australia’s leading producer of ready-to-eat packaged fruit and vegetables
    2005 Acquisition of Grinders Coffee Pty Ltd
    2006 Acquisition of home and office water delivery company Palm Springs Limited
    2006 CCA announces the formation of a joint venture with SABMiller plc, one of the world’s leading brewers, to sell and distribute imported premium beer in Australia. The 50:50 joint venture between CCA and SABMiller, to be known as Pacific Beverages Pty Ltd, will initially import SABMiller’s international premium beer brands, Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Miller Genuine Draft and Pilsner Urquell into the Australian market.

    Why is CCA not wanting more help with Ukraine considering present problems?

  62. Ant

    Out of all their perks the redundancy for me is the most insidious.

    As it is for GMH.

    When those “workers” face the threat of the company closing there will be a nice little incentive for them to pocket the loot rather than negotiating to keep the doors open.

  63. candy

    Coca Cola should stump up with the money. What’s stopping them?

  64. tomix

    There was an export standard meatworks built in Shepparton c.1978.
    AFAIK, it never operated due to union opposition.

  65. yackman

    re the incentive “Ant”(comment 1175765); depends on the age & service lengths. Could be a very expensive plant to shut but I daresay this is in their accruals as this is not a recent problem.

  66. yackman

    re “Sabrina”; renegotiating conditions is a hard slog and would require the backing of the CCA Board so as if production is disrupted they do not cave in when cash flow ceases and supply contracts cannot be fulfilled.
    The supermarkets are going to substitute in the case of supply disruption.

  67. Andrew

    Can someone explain why they have an EBA at all? What’s in it for the co? Pay award rates at award conditions with minimum national standards. What have they got of value in return for this agreement?

  68. Rafe

    I worked in continuous manufacturing for 36 years, half of which was at Site Manager level in plants of around 200 employees. The benefits as described above are fairly common.

    And we are surprised that manufacturing is struggling to survive?!

  69. Rafe

    You could have blown the whistle 36 years ago and got ahead of Grace (the Face) Collier!

  70. tomix

    See the above comment. They can’t afford a strike for contract and maybe, PR reasons.
    The EBA gives them that protection, at a cost.

  71. Rafe

    and you would have beaten out Gerard (the Ferret) Henderson as well!!

  72. Noddy

    Some of these Catt posters do not understand the issues surrounding SPC Ardmona Amatil.
    For 70 years Shepparton Preserving Company and Ardmona Fruit Preserving Company were two of the most successful co-operatives in the world with a bright future then very quickly it was a downhill slide. Within 20 years the factories had amalgamated and then were privatized and now seeking handouts from the government.
    Didn’t SPC Coca Cola Amatil consider ‘due diligence’ BEFORE buying into Shepparton? It appears to have been a poor assessment! They must have known about the EBAs.
    All of these business were managed by people with MBAs… come to think of it, like Holden, Ford and many other businesses in trouble. Is there something wrong with the business education system in this country? As the good professor used to say “Why is it so”?

  73. Steve from South Maclean

    Hmmm. Stuffed that up, then left the thread. Sorry Sinc and others… While I do live in Brisbane I am NOT THE Steve from Brisbane.

  74. Louis Hissink

    A simple chemical fact – sugar is a sterilisation agent – food immersed in sugar liquid does not break down bacteriologically. People with very high sugar diets have a deficiency in gut bacteria, as do those who drink a lot of alcohol as well – alcohol is basically complex sugar. That’s why much processed food is laced with sugar – to stop bacterial breakdown.

    Of course crony capitalism plays its part too, in that one tale I came across involved CSR and Kellogs, when CSR had excess production to get rid of, and Kellogg created ‘nutrigrain’; the Sanitarium people analysed it and discovered it was 70% sugar. Great energy food to be sure, instant carb hit, but healthy ?

    Rule of thumb our grandmother’s used was that sugar is an excellent preservative – eat too much and your intestinal system ends up being ‘preserved’ :-)

  75. Infidel Tiger

    A shit company is about to go broke. Good.

    We’ve all had to bury dogs we loved.

  76. Louis Hissink

    Noddy,

    Business graduates are also taught economics, Keynesian theory, which is basically English communism, so when the workers demand better conditions etc, our brainwashed businessmen, who not knowing anything different, lie down, and then when the money runs out, go to ‘society’ for help. It’s all to do with the belief we are social animals, and that to survive we need to be social and help each other.

    Except that reality intrudes when OPM runs out. You can Fiat your way out of it for a short time, but you can never escape it.

  77. Rafe

    As the good professor used to say “Why is it so”?

    Tariff protection, Commonwealth preference, the IR system and agrarian socialism.

    Works a treat until the music of the public cash register stops.

  78. Armadillo

    negotiate with the government for a loan rather than handout

    Why not go their bank like every other bastard has to?

  79. JC

    A shit company is about to go broke. Good.

    We’ve all had to bury dogs we loved.

    They had a lot of things bad going for them, but I reckon with the right management, more flexible workforce and lower energy costs they would have survived.. even done pretty well.

  80. Infidel Tiger

    They had a lot of things bad going for them, but I reckon with the right management, more flexible workforce and lower energy costs they would have survived.. even done pretty well.

    Yeah, and if I had a 12 inch tongue and could breathe through my ears I’d be married to Scarlett Jo and Kate Upton. They’re a shit company that needs to be put out of their misery.

  81. yackman

    re Rafe comments above;
    If only one knew at 30 what one knew at 50.
    I was involved in five EBA’s circa 1990 -2001, that was the way the organisation chose to operate. I cant recall any improvements in productivity due to that process. Productivity was all driven via capital investment, reduction in process variability and changes in technology and systems. This still required having the workforce onboard and involved.
    Earlier tariff reductions certainly put the pressure on.

  82. johanna

    According to Louis Hissink:

    “Of course crony capitalism plays its part too, in that one tale I came across involved CSR and Kellogs, when CSR had excess production to get rid of, and Kellogg created ‘nutrigrain’; the Sanitarium people analysed it and discovered it was 70% sugar. Great energy food to be sure, instant carb hit, but healthy ?”
    ————————————————–
    Please Louis, you are usually such a sensible person. This is junk science.

    All carbohydrates are converted to “sugar.” Your body doesn’t know whether you ate a lolly Mostly already converted) or a plate of pasta.

    Yes, there are differences in conversion rates. But your body is not a mummy blog which rates the inputs according to their political correctness.

    The nonsense that is spoken about food rivals climate “science” in its mumbo jumbo. Japanese people, who eat lots of salt, MSG and carbs live a very long time. So do northern Europeans who stuff themselves with dairy products. The French, who pig out on fat and wine, don’t do badly either. Ditto the Italians.

    So-called “nutritional science” loses out to phrenology in the validation stakes. My old man gave up his precious breakfast egg for more than 20 years because of the bogus cholesterol scare. These people haven’t got a clue what they are talking about.

    And don’t get me started on salt.

  83. your body is not a mummy blog which rates the inputs according to their political correctness

    That comment goes straight to my pool room.

  84. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Steve from South Maclean.

    Much better. SfB is notorious around here, a well known internet cockroach, semenblogger, buttplug aficionado and creepy sexual deviant.

    These are his good points!

    SfB is a name to avoid like the plague.

  85. yorkingtons

    The Toyota enterprise agreement is only 156 pages so you should be able to quickly whip through it.
    http://resources.news.com.au/files/2013/12/11/1226780/877085-aus-news-file-toyota-eba-altona-2011.pdf

  86. johanna

    Deadman – it is an honour to be in your poolroom. I don’t suppose there is a Latin or Greek term for that.

    Go Australia!

    But I have reposted the comment in the Open Thread, because I think that there is a wider issue here.

  87. Yohan

    Speaking of peaches, fresh ones not the canned SPC variety. Can anyone explain to me what the fuck happened to them?

    I used to always buy fresh and juicy golden peaches from the local grocer. But for the last 5-6 years, I have not even once been able to buy the same quality and standard of peach, and yet the prices are more expensive than any other fruit. They are now dry and flavourless, with a lot less juiciness in them.

    Anyone else notice this or am I going mad?

  88. tomix

    Anyone else notice this or am I going mad?

    If a particular variety stonefruit doesn’t sell as expected by the supermarkets, they won’t want it next year.The farmer puts the chainsaw through the lot and grafts a new variety onto the rootstock.
    It’s continuous.
    Eating Thompson Seedless grapes now. Certified Organic. Taste the difference.

  89. yackman

    Yohan; thats why we grow our own.
    Four varieties planted, fruit not picked until fully ripe so flavour developed on the tree. Suspect early picking for transport is a big factor with commercial supply.
    Continuous supply since just before Xmas and almost finished.

  90. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Wanna see some humdinger Enterprise Agreements? Check out the creative endeavours in the ones that universities agree to. All lefties in together and then they teach the ‘how to’ to all their students in Law, Industrial Relations, Management (!), Organisational Studies, Media and Communication, Business and Commerce (!), etc. Fully Gramsci’d.

  91. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Johanna, great sense there on nutritional science. Phrenology – LOL

  92. brc

    I used to always buy fresh and juicy golden peaches from the local grocer. But for the last 5-6 years, I have not even once been able to buy the same quality and standard of peach

    Just finished a tub of delicious, juicy peaches. When you get them from the shop, one or two days next to some bananas, then into the fridge until eaten.

    The best peaches I have ever had were in california, part of the irrigation growing area in the central valley. Twice the size of Aussie peaches and bib-necessitatingly juicy. They were unbelievable -bought from a roadside farmers market thing.

  93. .

    I always thought not getting sick leave was unfair. I don’t chuck sickies and look after myself. I give away up to 20 days “annual leave” a year.

    Of course, under Work Choices, I could have negotiated this.

    Now I can’t, for my own good, peoples!

  94. .

    Farmer Ted

    You want the company to stay afloat, but there are no domestic buyers, but you want to kick out foreigners. You then suggest those who oppose you and support free trade are supporting socialism, so as a solution you advocate state owned enterprise.

    You’re off your head, champ.

    Gretchen Sleeman
    #1175399, posted on February 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm
    The great pity of SPC is that it is not just a manufacturer of goods, like vehicles. It is the processor of clean, green Australian food, and that food comes from the Goulburn Valley, the Riverina, and other food bowls of Australia. That is the tragedy, when our own food no longer is processed. How can we have no Australian processor of our own food?
    The actual employees of SPC, ( whose over-inflated conditions and wages are a typical example of Union intervention over many years) are a minority of the community that could give us healthy, clean, trustworthy sourced food.

    The answer you are looking for is on costs. The wage bill can be 190% of the actual pre tax wages or salary a worker gets in Australia.

    Abbott must reduce superannuation and give the states a quid pro quo to cut or abolish payroll taxes and workcover insurances.

  95. Large Brass Ears

    Ken N, I’ve been trying to find a can of pairs, but it seems not many people are growing them these days.

  96. Ewen Hildebrand

    I think Judith needs to research a bit more before writing. Does she understand how RDO’s work? Further more it states a maximum of 28 consecutive days annual leave can be taken, not that they accrue that amount. I will leave the maths to others but I’m pretty sure 2.923 hours per week adds up to around 4 weeks per year.

  97. Noddy

    Large Brass Ears
    #1176121, posted on February 3, 2014 at 9:58 am
    Ken N, I’ve been trying to find a can of pairs, but it seems not many people are growing them these days.

    Understandable! they only come two at the time.

  98. Farmer Ted

    Robbo
    #1175338, posted on February 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Read the rest of my post and understand that it was one of many. The outstanding example was Arnotts’ Biscuits, which was indeed flogged off by our government to stave off a fall in the exchange rate from “the depression we had to have”.

    Infidel tiger
    #1175342, posted on February 2, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Who are the shareholders? What contracts do they have with the parent company?

    JohnA
    #1175488, posted on February 2, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Parts and spare parts are two different markets, the parts market the mainstay. And only the little people pay retail price.

  99. Aliice

    I will just bet teh actual fruit growers are not making nearly as much as the cannery workers.
    Its them I feel sorry for.

  100. .

    Read the rest of my post and understand that it was one of many. The outstanding example was Arnotts’ Biscuits, which was indeed flogged off by our government to stave off a fall in the exchange rate from “the depression we had to have”.

    So if that happened when Bernie jacked up our rates, why didn’t the dollar rise?

    Why wouldn’t we want the dollar to fall during a recession?

    How did selling off a biscuit company save the AUD anyway if the movements are dominated by US bond rates and Federal Government spending, outside of large commodity price movements (often driven by the first two anyway)?

  101. Bob Kernohan, on Facebook (31 Jan):

    [M]y views on SPC Ardmona are this: Tony Abbott made the right decision in refusing to donate 25 million to continue to prop up this company. In 1996 I attended this company due to a dispute over wages and conditions. The newly amalgamated AWU inherited members employed at this factory. Upon my arrival and seeing the generous wages and conditions that the workers were receiving I said words close to this..”You people should get real, you people should visit like workplaces in your industry, places like Mildura and the Riverland in South Australia to name only two. If these companies had to pay the same wages and conditions they would have to close down”. I rest my case…WHY DID IAN McFARLANE ENGAGE GREG COMBET ONTO HIS ADVISORY BOARD. COMBET IS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF RETAINING THECARBON TAX…Please share my opinion with all LNP politicians that you know.

    Today:

    Bill Shorten was my protégé, I introduced Bill into the AWU, (and for that deed I have lost many nights of quality sleep over the last 19 odd years). I appointed Bill as my election campaign manager in 1992 when I was contesting elections against Bruce Wilson, the former lover of one Julia Eileen Gillard… I am on the public record over the years stating the following FACTS. Bill Shorten knew as much as I did about the so called AWU slush fund scandal. He was well aware of Gillard’s role in perpetrating a MASSIVE fraud on the AWU. Bill and I parted ways when he chose to support the fraud and cover up and I chose to go to the Police…Please share my comment if you can.

    A little later:

    I have just this minute received a call from a friend who works at SPC Ardmona. I am told that the opposition leader Mr Shorten is on his way there to address the troops. (the call has gone out to ensure that he has a friendly reception) Bill Shorten is responsible, yes responsible for putting this company and the employees lively hood at risk…Google “AWU wins shorter working week at spc”. The article says it all really…Again I ask you to please share my comments….And for the tech savvy please share with all LNP federal pollies the google article I referred you to.. Hopefully when our federal parliament resumes Shorten will be asked some home truth questions about SPC.

  102. .

    Aliice
    #1176646, posted on February 3, 2014 at 6:25 pm
    I will just bet teh actual fruit growers are not making nearly as much as the cannery workers.
    Its them I feel sorry for.

    Alice in a bad year they can choose to just sell water rights. Out at Griffith on a small to medium sized farm you can make 45k for virtually doing nothing by selling water rights in tough times.

    With nearly of your time free, you can earn a lot of off farm income as well.

    Rent and the cost of living is cheap that way too.

  103. Aliice

    Dot dont be stupid

    You want the company to stay afloat, but there are no domestic buyers, but you want to kick out foreigners

    I really dont want to kick out clean domestically produced and grown Australian fruit when other bastards oseas are tinning food full of arsenic or other poisons and shit ..and there aint no bastard in Australia checking the tins before we eat em – ahem only Coles and Woolies who justcant be trusted.

    I dont agree with the comfort of the wage conditions there at SPC but I sure as hell feel sorry for the grower who is likely to be getting royally screwed. Where is Barnaby when you need him? Where is Katter? I will vote for these two over you you city urban dwelling fanatic Dot.

    Dont be so hasty to use your global works best everytime argument Dot.

  104. .

    I’m not being stupid, you’re being irrational.

    When I eat some arsenic laden food from Aldi and end up in hospital, send me flowers.

  105. Aliice

    No now you are being stupid Dot.

  106. Aliice

    You know damn well some of this crap selling cheap on Woolies shelves cant be trusted.

  107. .

    Alice, I can safely say if Woolies or Coles ever sold food which was poisoned and not sabotaged, some serious shit would go down. Maybe they’d collapse, it would be momentous to say the least. It is not ‘common knowledge’ that they knowingly sell poison.

    You are being silly now, pet.

  108. Aliice

    Pardon me but Coca Cola Amatil owns thos company and is VERY profitable.
    We really need tio screw some more tax out of companies like CCAmatil who probably shift it all off shore and then cry poor when some of their businesses dont do so well…and want a kickback from the taxpayers??
    Fuck em.
    This aint no family company no more….thats whats wrong with it. Its a toy for CC Amatil. Why not threaten them with higher taxes on their drinks. Really this big companuy thing has gone too too far.

  109. .

    Alice. How about this…we stop taxing everyone like Ramases and we stop spending like Gough and subsidising like the US Congress?

  110. Aliice

    Dotty – I am not being silly. Overseas tinned fuit is all blanched and pale looking like they picked it when it was so green it had no colour.
    I dont want to see all those farmers out of work or food imported which we can grow. At the same time I really dont like what it seems like the union has got too cosy at SPC with benefits etc.

  111. .

    Well Alice, if you want Cherries in July, you ain’t going to get them from Australia.

  112. Aliice

    Dot – I dont mind we come down hard on people like the Obeids etc that screw or rort government ie private or public sector – or the generous cab and travel and super allowances of public servants even. Let those who are first clean work on who is dirty. Lets clean government first and then decide? Until A is done B wont follow (B is sensible decisions on behalf of us all).

  113. Aliice

    I dont buy cherries in July Dot and I dont eg buy magoes out of season. I buy in season.

  114. .

    Anyway Alice, as someone who has sold fruit etc as a paying job, and had direct contact with growers – they get their best price on export stuff.

    The farmer actually wants foreigners to buy as much of their stuff as they can, because overseas it will nearly always be out of season and command the best prices. This is true in every country.

    What farmers want is middle class consumers around the world to stop deciding what is best for them, buy some goddamned fruit and be happy they can get reliable food year round.

  115. Winston Smith

    About poisons in food by unscrupulous people – whatever happened to the bloke in China who ordered melamine into baby formula so he could afford a new Maserati (or whatever)
    Member of the Communist Party, so he was untouchable or something like that?

  116. Aliice

    Also Dot – I am not for giving CC Amatil a subsidy over the growers (Until they clean up their unions).
    This really is rude ask. Let them CCAmatil shut down spc and piss off. Create an AIDC as BOB Katter says with cheap loans for Australian investment. Let someone else take it over and tell CC to piss off.
    I am not buying any Coke or other drinks of theirs again. That is it. I dont like CC. They want a bail out when they cant even clean up their own company. They probably dont pay any tax here anyway.

  117. .

    Winston – fairly sure he got a Makarov in the back of the head or taken to a mobile gas chamber.

    Create an AIDC as BOB Katter says with cheap loans for Australian investment. Let someone else take it over and tell CC to piss off.

    Why? Bond rates are fairly low now. With foreign investment and a falling dollar, we get more capital than we could attract with cheap, unsustainable credit.

  118. Aliice

    Dont know why you say the credot is so unsustanable Dot. Interest rates been low for eva now.

  119. Aliice

    Dot OUR dollar has been high and everyone has been whinging for past few years so dont give me that line about a falling dollar. Its only really started falling recently.
    Falling aint low and you know it.

  120. .

    I am not buying any Coke or other drinks of theirs again. That is it. I dont like CC. They want a bail out when they cant even clean up their own company. They probably dont pay any tax here anyway.

    CCA is listed here and pays dividends, so they do pay tax. In fact, in the latest year, their tax rate was an effective 29.1%. This is before shareholders pay tax that is partly drawn from dividends. Their franking rate was 75% and their div. payout ratio was 81%.

  121. .

    Aliice
    #1176690, posted on February 3, 2014 at 7:01 pm
    Dont know why you say the credot is so unsustanable Dot. Interest rates been low for eva now.

    Which is not good.

    Aliice
    #1176691, posted on February 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm
    Dot OUR dollar has been high and everyone has been whinging for past few years so dont give me that line about a falling dollar. Its only really started falling recently.
    Falling aint low and you know it.

    Yes Alice, I was referring precisely to the recent falls.

  122. entropy

    Sigh. The fruit sold by Aldi in its plastic containers with the rip off top are made in the SPC factory.
    For a while the woolies version came from China, but I have heard they recently switched to SPC too. Hence the need to upgrade the factory.

  123. entropy

    So this Katter bank. The government borrows money to lend to farmers that are a credit risk, classified as not viable, at negligible interest. Only for a set term of course, to give time for them to get back on their feet.

    You know what will happen at the end of the term don’t you? Actually that wasn’t a question really. There will be calls to give them another loan at next to no interest, or the government will be forced to foreclose as the banks will not take them back. Great stuff. The banks will be very happy to get these problems off their hands.

  124. Ross

    Why do you think electricity prices are so high. Utilities are union shops as well, The ETU is as robust as they come. These agreements also run into a hundred pages.

    Mind you why do the managers agree to these without efficiency trade offs.

    Yes please, let’s check the Maritime union agreement.

  125. .

    It will be just like the GFC and the US’s government sponsored entities, the Ginne Maes and Federal Land Banks etc.

    It will end very, very badly.

  126. .

    Ah – “Farmer Mac” and USDA guaranteed loans – once again it will end poorly.

  127. Noddy

    Sorry folks… this blog is getting like ‘snot-heads’ Q&A.
    A lot of people ‘gushing uninformed opinion’.
    Agriculture and associated processes are ‘primary industries’.
    You cannot eat cars! However, some way must be found to distribute ‘money’ so people can access food, clothing and shelter… hopefully these necessary items will all be provided locally (in Australia) AND why not? Now to SPC etc…
    At one time SPC could only sell direct to the public cans of fruit damaged in the production line (government rules) so to improve sales they had a worker thumping cans with a waddy to make them salable locally. In latter years a visit to the ‘factory sales’ outlet was an eye opener, tourists passing through and special buses on a ‘pokie trip’ would stop at SPC to buy their products going away with vehicles loaded to the gunnels.
    The ‘white peaches’ produced especially for the Japanese market were lovely and only available at SPC … this when both factories were cooperatives.
    Something is wrong with the ‘distributive system’ when you can’t sell enough production (share it around, if you wish) whether is is food, cars or whatever else.
    Why do we have poverty in Australia, homeless people in the cities and much else that is undesirable in one of the wealthiest countries in the world?

  128. Steve

    I just read the EBA for myself to check the facts. Yes, annual leave is 28 days, but that includes non-working days, so we’re really talking four weeks, or 20 working days.

    Likewise, RDOs are nothing unusual given they have a 38 hour week.

    I hate a union rort as much as anyone else, but come on, let’s argue the facts, not what we want the fact to be.

  129. so very bored of this nonsense

    You appear to have read it, you just don’t actually understand it.
    Just to comment on 2 items here, because I have a real life and a job to go to etc.

    1) No, they don’t get sick leave paid when they leave, they get sick leave as part of their redundancy payment, in the event they, er, get made redundant – hardly a golden handshake
    2) No, sigh, they don’t get 28 days a year, they get the NES minimum which is just under 3 hours a week, or 20 days a year, as they have stated. What you read (again, as opposed to understood) was that they can take up to 28 days consecutively, if they have them. So once every 18 months, if they use no annual leave at all they get to take a month off. You neo-cons should be applauding that, efficient businesses encouraging employees to reduce the leave balances on their P&Ls etc..

    I don’t blame you really, it is your incompetent right-wing brain, the real blame is with the hosts of this site that have more concern for the beat up than the accuracy of its content, again, sigh

  130. Kyle

    Louis, You seem to pop up on so many blogs, are you still in the mining industry ? I need a few good tips !!!

  131. Farmer Ted

    Well now.

    . #1176103 @ Feb 3 9:36 am.

    Go back to a decent school and learn to read.

  132. banker paul

    Australia continues along its current path, we will be the cleanest, greenest third world nation on the globe. Yes I am concerned about lack of leadership at all levels.

Comments are closed.