Threat of boycott over Streets workplace row

The Australian public could be encouraged to boycott Streets ice cream.

Streets ice cream factory workers are reportedly threatening a public boycott to draw attention to the termination of a previous agreement on pay and working conditions.

NSW based workers who are responsible for the manufacture of Paddle Pops, Golden Gaytimes, Bubble O’Bills and Magnums are currently in the midst of a dispute with Unilever, Streets parent company.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU), who is supporting the Streets workers said the company is trying to execute a previous agreement that would result in a 46% pay cut and a loss of working conditions.

The AMWU secretary Steve Murphy said Australians would most likely be willing to switch ice cream brands.

“It’s a whole lot easier to change the brand of ice cream you eat,” he said.

“There are other brands of ice cream that are made in Australia. You don’t particularly get a taste for one brand, you can change pretty readily.

“So I think the effect of a boycott on Unilever is going to be pretty significant, we saw from CUB (Carlton and United Breweries campaign) they lost a significant amount of their market share for a long period of time.”

Unilever reportedly applied to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to terminate the agreement.

The company said it had already explored other options in an attempt to create more flexible working conditions.

A spokesman for Unilever said: “This commitment would come into effect in the event of a FWC decision to terminate the existing enterprise agreement,” a spokesman said.

“The intent of this commitment is to provide our employees with a period of stability while discussions are ongoing to find a mutually agreeable solution to make the site more viable and competitive in the long term.”

Mr Murphy said workers are fearing for their livelihoods and families.

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