Heinz enforces lockout at Echuca factory

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 3rd December 2009

Food manufacturer Heinz has decided to enforce a lockout on their employees at their processing plant in Echuca – in Victoria’s north.

A dispute regarding a new collective bargaining agreement has been simmering for months and with tensions rising Heinz made the decision to lockout the factory’s seventy workers indefinitely.

Staff at the baby food production plant are unhappy about proposed roster changes and have been negotiating with management for four months.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union said staff were disappointed with changes to the roster that would see 8-hour shift pattern instead of the current 12-hour shifts.

Heinz’s Rodney Cole told the ABC that he is hopeful a resolution will be found shortly, with the move reportedly made after the union decided to ban certain activities earlier this week.

“We’re willing and ready to meet at any stage,” he said.