Australian sugar workers temporarily suspend strikes

According to a union representative, workers at Australia’s largest sugar producer will pause their industrial action temporarily in response to the company’s threat to exclude those involved in work stoppages from its mills and stop paying them, reported Reuters.

Wilmar Sugar and Renewables is currently embroiled in a wage dispute with its employees, resulting in multiple walkouts in recent weeks and a delay in the commencement of sugar production.

The suspension of industrial action will enable unionized workers to continue their duties until a vote on the company’s proposed pay offer next week. Unions argue that the offer is insufficient and likely to be rejected, potentially leading to a resumption of strikes.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the company announced, “Today, Wilmar Sugar and Renewables informed over 1,200 salaried employees that anyone engaging in industrial action from the beginning of shifts tomorrow morning (Wednesday, 5 June) will face a lockout until further notice.”

During the lockout period, affected workers will be barred from entering Wilmar’s facilities and will not receive payment until the measure is lifted.

Wilmar Sugar and Renewables operates eight mills along Australia’s northeast coast, which collectively contribute to over half of the country’s sugar production during the cane crushing season spanning from June to November. The company is a subsidiary of Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd.


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