Australian Parmalat/Lactalis workers beat lockout to win important gains in new agreement
Members of Australia's National Union of Workers (NUW) at Australia's Longwarry Food Park, owned by the Parmalat subsidiary of French dairy giant Lactalis, voted to approve a new agreement on July 15 after a successful fightback against an 11-day lockout. Workers responded to the management show of force by protesting around the clock and showing complete solidarity at the factory gate.
Lactalis closed the site and locked out the workforce after the union gave management 3 days' notice of a ban on overtime and paperwork in their pursuit of a new collective agreement to bring Longwarry workers' pay and benefits in line with other Parmalat workers in Victoria state.
The new agreement brings, among other improvements, a 9.6% pay increase over 3 years and a pathway to permanent jobs for contract workers, one of the union's key demands.