Union launches Streets ice cream boycott

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has called for Australians to boycott Streets ice creams this summer, claiming some of its workers are facing huge pay cuts.

Unilver, the maker of the ice creams, has applied to terminate the collective agreement negotiated by workers at its Minto site. According to unions, if successful, this will cut annual pay packets of workers by 46 per cent.

“Today, we are officially declaring a Streets Free Summer. We are calling on every Australian to stand up for fairness. If Streets won’t do what’s right, we won’t take a bite,” said Steve Murphy, AMWU NSW Secretary.

“No Australian worker should be forced to take a 46% pay cut. Streets and Unilever have decided to hit the nuclear option and have given workers no choice. It’s clear now, that the only way to make this global corporation listen is to hit them where it hurts.”

In response, Unilver called on the union to work constructively to secure Streets factory future.

“Our goal is to keep making Streets ice cream products in Australia, but our Minto factory lacks the flexibility needed to run a seasonal business and is too costly to run, making it uncompetitive,” the company said in a statement.

“We cannot continue with the current situation as it’s simply not sustainable.  For example, it’s currently almost 30 per cent cheaper to import a Magnum Classic ice cream made in Europe than to make the same ice cream at Minto, even when you include the 16,000 kilometres of frozen transport.”