Mars Petcare has lodged an application to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the expired Enterprise Agreement for supply Operations Associates at the Wodonga factory (Mars Petcare Australia Wodonga Enterprise Agreement 2016).
Facing drought-driven price increases for ingredients and increasing operational costs, Mars Petcare’s 2016 agreement terms are no longer sustainable for the business. The Wodonga factory operates within a global market, and in order to secure further investment, the site must remain competitive.
Eight months of consultation with Associates, unions, and bargaining representatives has failed to reach alignment on a replacement Enterprise Agreement that would impact approximately 150 Associates. A separate Enterprise Agreement applies to approximately 50 Reliability Associates.
Brett Brown, Plant Director, said: “This was not the outcome we hoped for, but we’ve been left with no other viable alternatives,”
“Mars’ proposal for a replacement agreement would have preserved current base pay, with overtime and penalty rates higher than industry standard. We’re disappointed that Associates voted no to this proposal,” Mr Brown said.
Under the termination application, Mars Petcare has made an undertaking to maintain current base pay.
Mars Petcare hopes to continue negotiation to reach an agreement that fairly meets the needs of the business and its Associates that will support the sustainability of the Wodonga site.
About Mars Petcare
Mars Petcare Australia, headquartered in Wodonga, Victoria, is the local pet nutrition segment of Mars, Incorporated. With over 50 years of experience manufacturing in Australia, our portfolio of almost 20 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of Australian pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, MY DOG®, and DINE® as well as The WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the freedom to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.