Sixty-two per cent of employees (153 to 94) voted in favour of accepting the agreement, seemingly putting an end to 10 months of negotiations with the two unions covering the site, the AMWU and the ETU.
The company says it took the EBA vote to employees directly because “the majority wanted to finalise the EBA as soon as possible and did not want to take further industrial action”.
Mars acting general manager Andrew Loader said the vote result was great news for the company.
“Ballarat has been our home for more than 30 years and we are committed to being here for the long term,” he said.
“However, union demands for things such as five weeks of paid leave do not reflect the pressure on our business to operate in a globally competitive environment.
“We can now all get on with the business of making chocolate.”
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union representative Colin Muir said the vote was more like “50-50” because of a substantial vote by non-union members.
Mr Muir also said he would raise questions of an illegal vote with union members at an upcoming meeting.
“We have concerns about the legality of the vote,” he said.
“What we do about those concerns will be discussed at a meeting on Monday.”
However, Mr Loader said there was nothing illegal about the recent vote.
“We followed the process to the letter and used the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct the vote,” he said.
Source: The Courier