Lion has dismissed as “baseless” claims made by the United Voice union over its commitment to permanent, full-time jobs at its XXXX Milton brewery in Queensland.
The brewer has been negotiating with the union since June over the use of additional Queensland contractors when there is a need. Lion has sought conciliation help from Fair Work Australia in a bid to progress those negotiations. The brewer said that it uses additional contractors in other states and that unions have accepted the practice in those agreements.
United Voice spokesperson Damien Davie accused Lion of attacking the Queensland way of life, saying: “XXXX management is threatening to shut down our legendary Milton brewery if they don’t get their way on shipping in cheap labour from over the border.
“This is an attack on our Queensland way of life. We need to keep XXXX on home turf. That’s why all Queenslanders need to get behind our workers when they take action.
“Queenslanders deserve to know whose team XXXX is on.”
However a spokesperson for Lion dismissed the claims as baseless and said the recent recruitment of permanent staff highlights the company’s commitment to the Milton brewery.
“We recently recruited five new permanent team members, with these workers now in their jobs at the Brewery, so any doubt to our commitment to permanent, full time jobs in Queensland is clearly baseless,” the spokesperson said.
“We mentioned these new roles last July, the last time the Union made false claims about the Brewery.”
“The Union has asked to know what team XXXX is on, well for a second time our brewers are hearing about baseless claims via the media – maybe the Union should be asking themselves that question?”
Lion also said that its contractors get the same rate as the workers on the site and that contractors are used to cover sick leave, long service leave and to cover for fluctuations in market demand.
The company said that it is “confident” its commitment to the site “is clear to our team members at Milton”.
United Voice has approval to ballot its members over possible industrial action, although that ballot is yet to take place.