Smith's gives workers the crunch

Issue 

Smith's gives workers the crunch

By Anthony Thirlwall

ADELAIDE — Workers at Smith's snack food company went on strike for 24 hours on June 7 following the shock sacking of nearly one quarter of the company's Adelaide work force.

A total of 93 workers were called to a meeting at the Regency Park factory the day before to be told that they were redundant because of the needs of rationalisation. Smith's is currently cutting its work force as part of a national program to streamline production.

Ron Docherty, organiser with the National Union of Workers, told Green Left Weekly that the workers had been given no warning, but conceded that the union was satisfied the sackings could not be avoided.

Following the strike action, the union called a meeting on June 8 in order to find workers willing to take voluntary packages in order to save others jobs.

The workers have been offered a separation package in line with those offered in recent months to sacked employees at three of the company's interstate factories.

So far, only 42 workers have accepted the voluntary packages.