Bega hopeful of resolving pay dispute

·1-min read

Diary company Bega hopes to soon resolve an enterprise bargaining dispute with workers at its Bentley site in Perth after a strike this week.

Workers at the plant walked off the job on Monday with the United Workers Union saying the company had offered a 2.75 per cent annual pay rise, well below inflation.

Industrial action will continue until Bega returns to with an offer that brings workers into line with their colleagues at its east coast dairies, the union warned.

In a statement to AAP, Bega said it was in the process of negotiating a new enterprise agreement and looked forward to working toward an outcome as soon as possible.

"We are proud of our long history of creating a great working environment for our people at Bentley," the company said.

"Our people receive pay and conditions that match or are higher than other similar businesses."

But union co-ordinator Louise Dillon said there was a need for a rebalance between the profits of corporations and the take-home pay of West Australian workers.

"Here we have a bunch of workers who showed up during the height of the pandemic and when our supply chains were under immense pressure to make sure the supermarket shelves were still stocked with milk," Ms Dillon said.

"You can't just keep trading on the good faith of workers when recording huge profits and paying out dividends to shareholders.

"At some point you have to actually respect and recognise what these essential workers do."

As well as the wage claim, the union is seeking a better path to permanency for casual workers.