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What's happening at Sunrice?

A brief explainer for workers & the community.

The short version:
SunRice Group are refusing to provide a fair wage increase to essential workers –
and want to remove their conditions instead.

 Workers at the SunRice Group have had conditions eroded from their agreement for over a decade – and now the company are seeking to rip the remaining conditions from these workers. 

These changes will affect workers & their ability to contribute to their community.

In negotiations, the company has sought to remove community service leave, blood donation leave and more. The company is driven by corporate greed, not care for the community or local workers. 

We've been fighting since June 2021...

Union members met & decided on improvements they wanted to see in the new agreement: their "Log of Claims"
This is decided by consensus & becomes workers' "Log of Claims" (LOC) - a formal part of enterprise agreement negotiations.
JUNE 2021
First EBA meeting with the company takes place. Members & management exchange their Log of Claims
Sunrice used lingo like it wanted "a workforce of the future"; "Simplify – Sustain – Secure". 
This falls on deaf ears with workers - what they want is plain and simple: a fair pay increase and the return of the conditions that they used to enjoy.
JUNE 2021
The company delivered their draft agreement: it would leave workers worse off than they are now.
The company replied to workers’ LOC with a completely re-written draft agreement that aimed to 'simplify and streamline', but instead offered a major attack on their conditions. The company drip fed important information, failed to mention how their draft changes would impact workers, and revised their own LOC at least 5 times.
Workers continue to meet with the company. The company won't budge on workers’ asks.
Workers continue to negotiate with SunRice management to try & create an agreement that both the company and workers can agree on. SunRice spend the largest part of these meetings discussing their own claims, while rejecting the claims of workers.
The company's offers get progressively worse.
In the first few meetings SunRice said they were open to some of workers' claims - they even agreed to a couple - but since then, they have reneged & rejected all of them.

The UWU has withdrawn multiple claims in good faith but has not been met with the same courtesy.
98% of union members vote to take industrial action
In response to SunRice’s bargaining tactics, and their continued attacks on workers' conditions, Union members at SunRice held a Protected Action Ballot. 98% voted the ballot up, even as the company ran an aggressive "vote no" campaign.
SunRice backflip on 85% of their own claims, but still offer up an insulting draft agreement.
Over the Christmas break, the company has backed off on 85% of their drafting changes but have still rejected all of the unions claims.

The offer they put on the table for workers has no backpay, and a pay increase tied to the introduction of a new classification structure (with the ability to demote workers) & much more.
SunRice refuses to let UWU officials on site to meet with members... So members meet off-site & vote to strike instead.
UWU organised to have off site mass meetings on short notice. The vast majority of members attended, with 100% of members rejecting the company’s offer and endorsing two back-to-back 24-hour work stoppages.

SunRice have left workers with
no other choice BUT TO STRIKE.

See below for how you can support us:


SunRice Group workers: