The entire bakery staff at Goodman and Fielder’s Buttercup Bakery are to be made redundant as the company prepares to close its Malaga factory.
Seventy-six of the 90 workers at the Malaga bakery were told they would no longer have a job as of May 1 by management at a meeting called on Tuesday.
Goodman Fielder bakes a range of bread brands including Helga’s, Molenberg, Lawson’s Traditional Bread, Wonder White, Mighty Soft, La Famiglia Kitchen, Country Life, Vogel’s, Freya’s, Nature’s Fresh, Quality Bakers and Mackenzie High Country Bread.
United Voice WA Secretary Carolyn Smith said the announcement came as a horrible shock to workers.
“Today’s news mean 76 families will struggle to put a roof over their head and food on their table from May,” Ms Smith said.
“It could not have come at a worst time for these workers, with WA’s unemployment rate the highest in the country."
Goodman and Fielder told workers in a letter their decision was "directly related to commercial reality" and that the Malaga site was "too expensive to be competitive in the market".
The company will continue to produce its bread brands in WA through a third party contract with their main competitor George Weston at their Tip Top bakery in Canning Vale.
In a memo to staff, Tip Top managing director Andrew Cummings said they have entered into a "long term agreement" with Goodman Fielder to bake packaged bread and rolls on their behalf.
"We are working through a transitional plan with Goodman Fielder and anticipate starting production on their behalf on 1st May 2017," the memo read.
United Voice will be consulting with Tip Top management to explore opportunities for former Goodman Fielder staff to be employed at their Canning Vale bakery.
Ms Smith said the Malaga bakery's closure highlights the mess that the Barnett Liberal Government have made in their eight years of power.
“Colin Barnett and Lisa Harvey have sunk WA’s economy into a record amount of debt and also sat idly by as unemployment in this State has continually risen.
“WA needs a plan for jobs, and the only political party which has a vision to secure employment and increase job opportunities in this State is WA Labor with their comprehensive plan for jobs.
“Following this news we urged the public to think carefully about their vote on March 11, we can either vote back in a tired government who have lost their way, or vote in a Labor Government who will bring with them a fresh approach.”
Fortunately for the Buttercup Bakery workers a strong union agreement will see them paid a reasonable redundancy package once their employment ceases from May 1.
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