Following a big slump in its milk intake, financially-stretched Murray Goulburn (MG) is “reshaping” its farm milk collection service, cutting tanker operations.
The cuts to MG’s Victorian inbound logistics business will involve about 60 tanker operator jobs in Koroit, Leongatha, Maffra and Rochester, plus a number of support roles.
Voluntary redundancies are being offered to staff as milk collection rosters are amended.
The big co-operative announced the move was in response to the reduction in its milk supply and milk collection needs and part of its continuing efforts to address MG’s costs, improve efficiencies and ultimately increase earnings and farmgate milk prices.
The cuts and changed milk collection operations will be phased in, promising to significantly increase MG’s logistics efficiency relative to milk intake.
The company said the changes would be managed to ensure sufficient capacity remained to collect milk in peak season production times.
“To minimise the impacts on our people, we will be seeking to make changes to rosters and offering voluntary redundancies in the first instance,” a company statement said.
“We are committed to ensuring we provide any affected employees with appropriate levels of support and the recognition that they deserve during this period of transition.”
MG would also provide access to career transition and redeployment services.
“These actions are regrettable, but necessary to ensure a strong MG that can deliver sustainable and competitive returns for our suppliers,” MG said.
The latest bad news for MG employees follows continuing pressure from workers and the community around Edith Creek in Tasmania, where MG’s milk plant will shut on November 30.
About 120 people will lose their jobs, unless MG confirms plans to sell the North West Tasmanian site beforehand.
The National Union of Workers (NUW) has ramped up pressure on the company to make serious efforts to engage with prospective buyers before the closure deadline draws nearer or other broader corporate takeover pressures are considered by management.