By Eden Hynninen
Twenty three workers will be cut at Broadford’s Nestlé factory after the global company announced a restructure.
Staff were told on Thursday that job cuts would come through a mix of voluntary redundancies and not filling existing vacancies.
The changes include the consolidation of shifts and changes to fixed rostered days off for some of the factory’s 230 employees.
The Broadford factory, one of the largest employers in the Mitchell Shire, produces lollies sold under the Allen’s brand.Nestlé general manager confectionary Chris O’Donnell said packing lines and laboratory operations would be adjusted, along with the closure of a packing line after the sale of Fruit Pastilles to Darrell Lea last year.
“Unfortunately, as a result of these changes, up to 23 roles will be made redundant from the factory,” Mr O’Donnell said.
“We hope to achieve this reduction through a mix of voluntary redundancies, and not filling existing vacancies.
“We will offer all affected staff a generous redundancy package and access to outplacement services, and have given all our staff time to consider whether they might wishto accept this offer.”
Mr O’Donnell reassured staff and the community that the cuts were not due to personal performance.
“This decision doesn’t reflect on the personal efforts of our staff – we know our Broadford team to be a hard-working and committed team who are dedicated to making Australia’s favourite lollies,” Mr O’Donnell said.
“However it’s important that we ensure that the Allens business runs efficiently and remains competitive in what we know is an increasingly challenging market, and have taken this decision after careful consideration of how to focus our activities and resources.”
Decisions by large supermarket chains on whether to stock certain products can have a flow-on effect on production, and therefore employment numbers.
The cuts follow an announcement in August last year to start a third shift and introduce 15 new roles at the Broadford factoryMember for Euroa Steph Ryan pushed the button on August 6, 2018 to start the third shift and announced that the factory woud operate 24 hours a day.
Since learning about the job losses at the factory, Ms Ryan said it was a very sad day for workers.“Whenever I drop in, I am always impressed by the factory team’s dedication to their work,” Ms Ryan said.
“They produce wonderful produce and they are passionate about what they do. I know this news will be devastating to them.
“It is vital that the government steps up to help those who are made redundant find new employment opportunities.”