The National Union of Workers announced on July 15 that 50 workers who were locked out of a Victorian milk processing plant by Longwarry Foods on July 5 will be able to return to work after they voted for a new agreement. Workers had been protesting outside Longwarry Foods, owned by Parmalat, one of the country's biggest milk producers, for 11 days, calling for better working conditions and to return to work.
Dozens of Gippsland dairy workers have been locked out indefinitely by milk producer Parmalat. When workers arrived at the gates of the Parmalat-owned Longwarry Food Park, east of Melbourne, on July 5, they were met with news of the lockout and closure of the site. The Longwarry workforce is among the lowest-paid in the dairy industry according to the National Union of Workers, and had been calling for improved conditions in their pay deal to bring them in line with other Parmalat sites.