Teys Australia has called on the federal government to address the issue of industrial relations or push more manufacturing industries towards closure.
Teys Australia is one of the country’s largest beef processors and employs more than 4500 people in Queensland. CEO Brad Teys says more needs to be done to protect local manufacturing and offer more than “platitudes” about the sector’s difficulties.
As reported in the Australian Financial Review, Tey’s general manager of corporate affairs Tom Maguire believes the business environment in Australia, especially industrial relations, is not conducive to manufacturing and the sector could not compete internationally.
Last year, the company was locked in a bitter dispute with the Australasian Meat industry Employees Union (AMIEU).
Employees at the company’s Beenleigh had voted to approve a workplace agreement, but the AMIEU had obstructed the deal and mounted continuous appeals.
“While this sort of behaviour is allowed, companies will lose money, jobs will disappear and business will look for cheaper options internationally,” says Maguire.
The company is looking for a reform of labour arrangements. Greater market access and a reduction in costs and charges on companies were key areas that needed to be pursued by the government.