Harvey Beef workers vote against workplace agreement but new proposal offers hope

Posted by Isobel Drake on 27th March 2009

Harvey Beef, Western Australia’s biggest abattoir, could be forced to shut down after workers rejected a 3 year workplace agreement for the second time yesterday.

The first pay deal was rejected earlier this month, with 160 workers since made redundant.

115 employees voted against accepting the agreement, as opposed to 99 in favour, which would have led to a pay cut of up to 20% pay for a third of its workforce, for 3 years. Harvey Beef has since indicated it may have come to an alternative, short-term agreement with the union. The compromise would see wage cuts lasting two years instead of three, with some entitlement provisions to be retained.

“This is a very good compromise and it gives Harvey Beef the wage cost parity it needs to be competitive,” Harvey Beef General Manager, Dean Goode, said, according to The West Australian.

The new two-year proposal will be voted on next Wednesday.