Australian Paper at FWC today

As Australian Paper workers are entering their fourth week of picketing at the Preston plant, the company and the AMWU have a hearing scheduled with the Fair Work Commission this afternoon in Melbourne.

The hearing will take place at 3pm. The major envelope producer asked the workplace tribunal to mediate negotiations last week.

Craig Dunn, general manager, Communications & Sustainability at Australian Paper says, “While Australian Paper remains hopeful of an eventual return to work by our employees, we understand that this will be their decision. The Fair Work Commission has been asked to assist the parties in trying to reach a positive outcome. In the interim we are continuing to service our customers as required.”

[Related: Australian Paper calls for FWC to mediate]

The AMWU has claimed that warehouse workers have reported a shortage of stock within the Preston plant, particularly running short on envelopes supplied to Officeworks. Officeworks declined to comment.

The dispute has come about after nine months of failed negotiations for a new EBA. Workers have asked for a 2.5 per cent annual pay rise for three years and no loss of RDOs, and are against a reclassification of the pay structure which they claim will freeze pay increases for long time staff until newer employees’ wages catch up. The company has offered a total 6.5 per cent pay rise over four years and wants to reduce the current 16 RDOs to 12.

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