CHH lockout finally over
Assurance given to help community recover
CARTER HOLT Harvey Myrtleford Mill employees are back at work after a 74-day lockout over a wages dispute. The return to work followed a 111-70 vote to accept a CHH pay deal.
Even though CHH has given a assurance that it will help the community to recover there is still division in the town.
Construction Forestry Mining and Electrical Union assistant secretary Andrew Vendramini said that in November the workers first voted down the offer 117-55.
“They next rejected it 97-86 on June 9.
“After 10 weeks into a lockout the vote was 111-70 in favour – which says a lot about what the employees think of the agreement,” Mr Vendramini said.
As a result, he claimed CHH Myrtleford employees were now “a lot worse off than where we were in November of last year”.
“If the town thinks the last 10 weeks was going to affect them, well, there’s now less money in (our) members’ pockets and that means less money that will be spent in the town,” he said.
“But the community wanted to stick its nose in and (our) members have ended up with less to spend in the community.”
Reluctant advocate for about 60 non-union-aligned workers Enzo D’Andrea said there was “very icy feeling” between union and non-union CHH employees after the vote.
“No one’s talking to each other but hopefully time will heal all wounds,” he said.
CARTER Holt Harvey has assured Alpine mayor Ron Janas that CHH had given an assurance it would help the community to recover.
Cr Janas In a statement, Cr Janas said the mill’s reopening was a positive step for all affected by the industrial stand-off in recent months.
He said he had spoken with CHH chief executive Prafull Kesha and had discussed with him the need for community recovery. He said Mr Kesha had assured him of the company’s help.
“The reopening of the mill is great news for Myrtleford, but we understand it will take time for the community to fully recover from the impact of this event,” Cr Janas said.
He said that Alpine council would support the Myrtleford community’s recovery and reconciliation by funding a community “gettogether”.
He said the council looked forward to sharing in this process with community groups.
“Myrtleford has been through floods, bushfires and the loss of the tobacco industry in one fell swoop, but it bounced back and I know the determination of the community will see it will bounce back again,” Cr Janas said.
No one’s talking to each other but hopefully time will heal all wounds .