Dairy drain

MURRAY Goulburn has refused to state whether the cutting of jobs from its factories – including 52 from Leongatha – was a condition of the company’s likely sale to Canadian milk giant Saputo.

The Star asked that very question of a MG spokesperson last week.

He replied, “I will leave it there”.

The job cuts came just days after Saputo chief Lino Saputo Junior told The Star employees at the Leongatha factory could remain confident the factory would continue to operate under current conditions.

The Star also put that pledge to the MG spokesperson, who responded Mr Saputo would have been referring to once the company takes control.

The Star attempted to contact Saputo for comment in light of news of the jobs cuts last Tuesday, November 21, as MG battles with reduced milk intake.

The Leongatha factory took the brunt of the latest round of redundancies, following MG’s recent commercial review.

Of milk losses, the MG spokesperson said, “This has impacted UHT and cream volumes at Leongatha and facilitated a five day a week operation across all retail lines.

“Redundancies have previously occurred at other sites as MG has aligned its operations with milk intake.”

Voluntary redundancies will be offered for most of the 52 roles.

In October, MG announced it would cut up to 12 tanker driver positions from its Leongatha factory.

MG does not disclose employee numbers per site, however The Star has been informed the Leongatha factory could employ around 240 people – meaning the latest cuts equate to more than a fifth of the workforce.

Since dramatically cutting prices in April 2016, Murray Goulburn’s milk supply has fallen from 3.5 billion litres in 2015-16 to a forecast 2 billion litres this season.

Of the latest job losses, MG said in a letter to suppliers, “This decision is regrettable but necessary. These actions have been taken to ensure MG can deliver sustainable and competitive returns.

“These changes will significantly increase operational efficiency, while enabling us to meet demand for MG dairy products.”

The company is now the subject of a $1.3 billion takeover offer from Saputo, which suppliers will vote on in early 2018.

Talking to The Star recently, Saputo boss Lino Saputo Junior said his company’s primary intention would be to increase milk pick up and have factories, including Leongatha, running close to full capacity.

He said the company intended to continue UHT production at Leongatha.

When asked by The Star if more jobs were likely to go before the sale to Saputo is complete, the MG spokesperson said, “We continually review employee numbers to ensure we are staffed appropriately and efficiently”.

A union of MG staff, the National Union of Workers, was contacted for comment.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23341

Posted by on Nov 28 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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