Campbell’s Soup employees go back to work

Posted by Editorial on 17th September 2009

A compromise has been reached between food manufacturer Campbell’s Soup and workers at their factory in Shepparton.

Work at the factory in Victoria came to a halt last Friday when employees launched industrial action due to a breakdown in negotiations over new workplace agreements. Employees had since been locked out and not paid since Friday night, but an agreement has now reportedly been reached.

Campbell’s said the agreement regarding a draft flexibility clause to be included in the enterprise agreement would only be offered to work teams and only if the majority of employees in those teams supported the offer.

The plan had been to negotiate flexibility arrangements with individual staff members.

“It can’t be done with an individual,” Campbell’s Soup spokeswoman Toni Jones said, according to The Australian. “It has to get a majority … from the work team in question. The union didn’t want employees to have the right to agree to individual flexible arrangements even though the law states the individual must be better off overall.”

Damian King, of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, told the ABC that they were happy with the end result of discussions.

“Receiving a lock-out notice for an indefinite period is a significant thing,” he said. “People have stuck together and we have achieved a really good result in the circumstances.”