The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC) condemns the approach by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) which could see Australian meat exporters’ operations grind to a halt next week.
On Plant Veterinarians (OPV) and Food Safety Meat Assessors (FSMA) who are CPSU members have the option to strike on Wednesday 8 November and Friday 10 November as part of a wider pay dispute with the Federal Government.
“AMIC recognises OPVs and FSMAs role and their importance to the export supply chain, and we agree with the need for them to be fairly remunerated. However, it is extremely unfair and disappointing that their crucial roles in the export system are being weaponised to hold our industry hostage to wider public servant bargaining.” said AMIC CEO, Patrick Hutchinson.
“Using the meat industry as a bargaining chip against the Federal Government shows that the CPSU is not concerned about the risk such action poses to Australia’s reputation as a reliable exporter of meat; Australian businesses accessing international markets; or the thousands of non-public service employees who will be affected by this.
“Red meat exports are the largest exports within the Agricultural sector and it is extremely careless for the CPSU to take action which puts our industry at risk when we aren’t a party to this dispute or negotiations.
“We are seeing massive increases in livestock waiting to be processed as stock are being sold to meat processors in anticipation of a dry season, so this action couldn’t come at a worse time.
“It’s particularly galling that our members will be faced with significant disruptions and risks to their overseas market access despite the majority of CPSU members previously voting to support the current pay offer from the Government and CPSU’s leadership still rejected it.
“We unequivocally condemn this action and urge the CPSU to keep the fight in house.” said Mr Hutchinson.
AMIC hopes to see a resolution that avoids disruption to the meat industry and urges all parties to consider the broader implications of this action. We stand ready to support our members and the wider community through this challenging period.
The Australian Meat Industry Council (AMIC), is the sole Peak Industry body representing the post-farm gate meat industry, including processors, smallgoods manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors through to independent retail butchers and exporters.
Keith Drain – Communications Manager