Milk factory workers stage strike

A dairy worker has been charged with public nuisance during a strike at a factory in Logan, south of Brisbane.

About 80 workers from the Dairy Farmers factory at Crestmead walked off the job about midnight (AEST) for 24 hours, arguing for better pay and conditions.

Dozens of workers have been blockading the entrance to the Dairy Farmers factory at Crestmead, preventing milk tankers from accessing the site.

The workers say they have no plans on budging for the rest of the day.

They are striking for 24 hours after discussions with parent company Lion Group broke down.

The workers are pursuing a 4 per cent wage increase, which they say will bring their pay into line with interstate colleagues.

Police were called to the scene around midnight (AEST) as some of the workers blocked access to the factory's front gate.

The factory also produces Coles brand milk, among other brands.

The workers plan to keep striking until at least midnight.

National Union of Workers spokesman Duncan Pegg says the supermarket milk price wars have played a strong role in the dispute.

"We've seen the farmers say what the $2 milk is doing in terms of hurting them and we're seeing today what it's doing to hurt the workers in the milk processing industry," he said.

"The milk price wars are really putting a squeeze on these workers and the farmers are saying the same thing." Mr Pegg says they are also arguing better job security.

"These Queensland workers get paid significantly less than their counterparts in other states for effectively the same job - it's the same milk," he said.

"They're after a reasonable wage increase and they've only have three public holidays a year, so they're after more public holidays.

"The third thing is looking at improved job security as well." Mr Pegg says Queensland milk supplies will be affected by the strike.

"Unfortunately it will affect supplies and that's not a good thing," he said.

"What we say about that though is that Lion has been well aware of this dispute and action for some time, so it shouldn't come as any surprise to them." But Dairy Farmers is assuring consumers that milk will reach retailers shelves later today.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9284-0.0081-0.86%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5525-0.0041-0.74%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6706-0.0078-1.15%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg