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Australian Paper goes back to FWC over strike

Wednesday, 14 February 2018
By Print21

Australian Paper at Preston.

The Fair Work Commission is holding a second hearing at noon today on the strike at Australian Paper’s Preston facility, following the failure of last Thursday’s bid to resolve the dispute.

Commissioner McKinnon from the FWC’s Melbourne office will hear Australian Paper’s application to suspend the protected industrial action, which began last month and has hit envelope supplies at the manufacturer.

Craig Dunn, Australian Paper.

In a statement, Craig Dunn, general manager of communications and sustainability at Australian Paper, told Print21 negotiations were still ongoing. “Australian Paper accepts the choice of some of our Preston employees to not return to work at this stage. Although negotiations for a new agreement have not yet been finalised, our view is both parties are committed to achieving a positive outcome,” he said.

Most of the plant’s 90 workers went on strike last month, asking for a 2.5 percent pay increase over three years and protesting what they described as management plans to change worker classifications and cut RDOs. The AMWU has received support from Andrew Giles, Labor member for the nearby division of Scullin, as well as other unions including the CFMEU, CWU, and Nurses and Midwives.

Dean Griffiths, AMWU delegate, could not be contacted for comment, but said last week that Australian Paper was to blame for the failure of Thursday’s hearing. “They’re still sticking to their guns, saying that as long as the industrial action is taking place they won’t talk to the negotiators. They’re not willing to move,” he said.

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