The Fair Work Commission will facilitate talks between vegetable processor Simplot, and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU).
Vegetable processing workers at Simplot’s Tasmanian and NSW plants voted in favour of industrial action over the company’s pay offer last month as they believed that the company’s pay offer would remove conditions for casual workers.
AMWU said that while it would be a last resort, it is still prepared to take industrial action which could include strikes and overtime bans.
Managing director of Simplot, Terry O’Brien told ABC News that he was hopeful that the talks will help resolve the issue, and in turn avoid any industrial action as it would impact heavily on the operations of the processor as harvesting is currently at its peak.
Last year, Simplot’s Devonport and Bathurst plants were under threat of closure due to a very competitive industry and unsustainably high costs.
The company was then given a lifeline in the form of new contracts with Supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths over the next three years.