The United Workers Union (UWU) has called on Pampas management to return to the bargaining table and to stop weaponising emergency services following claims made by the firies today.
According to the United Firefighters Union (UFU) of Victoria and UWU members at the scene Pampas called emergency services on the group of workers rallying out the front of the Footscray factory as part of legal industrial action, which began on Monday 21 November.
The full UFU statement can be read here.
Pampas workers are striking in the pursuit of increased job security and wages that keep up with the cost of living. Read more about the dispute here.
Pampas is wholly owned by the billion-dollar food manufacturer Goodman Fielder, which is in turn owned by Wilmar International, a Singapore-based agribusiness which largely generates its billion-dollar profits through palm oil cultivation throughout South-East Asia.
United Workers Union National Secretary Tim Kennedy said it was a disgrace that bosses would tie up vital emergency services in an industrial dispute.
“The actions of Pampas should be condemned in the strongest possible terms by the decision makers at Goodman Fielder and Wilmar International,” Mr Kennedy said.
“Forcing firefighters to attend a barrel fire which had been burning safely for four days without issue, should be called out for what it is – a cynical ploy to intimidate workers for taking sanctioned action.
“From what I understand, there was another more urgent situation unfolding while the firies were forced to attend the site.
“I can only hope the person, or people responsible for this act will come to their senses, apologise to the firefighters and their workers and return to bargaining in good faith.”
Workers at Pampas have resolved to continue strike action into next week unless outstanding claims can be resolved.
Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]