The promise of receiving a sizeable redundancy payout is changing the scope of the working world, and according to Simplot boss Tom O’Brien, 20 per cent of his workers want processing plants to close for this reason.
As one of Australia’s largest food processors, Simplot works hard to stay afloat in the tough retail environment, but O’Brien has told Business Spectator and ABC News that the workers don’t even want to fight for the company and their jobs.
He believes big redundancy payouts are what is encouraging workers to stay in the one company, and that they are detrimental to the food processing industry in its current state.
"Every food manufacturer in Australia is getting ready to close plants in one form or another, it's just a matter of when," he said.
"We're getting no price increases whatsover, we've got the cost of non-tradeables growing rapidly in the market.
"The cost of power and water and everything else is just going up astronomically."
But John Short from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), which represents the workers at Simplot’s Davenport and Ulverstone plants in Tasmania, has slammed O’Brien’s comments, arguing workers do want to keep their jobs.
"I think it's very disappointing. I don't know who he's talking to, but the people we talk to are very much dedicated and committed to the company," he said.
"They don't want to see the jobs lost there.
"When we talk to people, they're the opposite.
“They want permanent jobs."