Maryvale walkout moratorium extended

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Unions have placed a third moratorium on a mass worker walkout at Maryvale Mill until close of business tomorrow, pending discussions with Australia Paper’s chief executive Jim Hennebury.

At a mass meeting attended by more than 150 in-house maintenance workers outside the mill this morning, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Electrical Trade Union members collectively agreed to give the company “one last chance” before going into a “long drawn out industrial dispute”.

An enterprise bargaining negotiation for about 170 maintenance workers has been under discussion for about six months, through which the company has moved to roll back “excessive” conditions, while unions have upheld workforce security and manning level concerns.

Australian Paper made its official response to the unions’ proposed “final offer” EA yesterday afternoon, however their response included an additional clarification on a workforce security and contractor clause, which unions said they could not agree to.

ETU organiser Peter Mooney said if the clarification issue could be resolved, an agreement could be reached by tomorrow. “We are very, very close on this,” Mr Mooney said.