|Issue No 89||23 March 2001|
Bread Maker Slices Workforce
By Andrew Casey
More than a third of the Buttercup workforce in Newcastle will lose their jobs by mid-April because of a decision by the company to centralise its baking at their Moorebank, Sydney, outlet.
" Buttercup, owned by multinational Goodman Fielders, is undergoing a massive restructuring process right around Australia - which is costing more and more of the jobs of our members," Susan McGrath, LHMU Branch President, said .
" Regional Australia is especially being affected by decisions made in capital cities to centralise jobs into metropolitan Australia."
The Buttercup brand is the top selling bread in Australia, controlling more than a third of the bread market along with a range of specialty breads.
Goodman Fielders, the parent company, is the dominant food company in Australia.
Earlier this month the company announced both relatively poor first half profits and an aggressive new strategic review plan which has targeted their baking division to increase their cash-flow.
" This company, which has such a prominent place on our grocery shelves, now seems to have adopted a strategy of improving their profit margins by getting rid of their baking staff," Susan McGrath said.
" We have got members in Newcastle who have spent most of their working lives loyally working for the company.
" We have got members in the Canberra region being treated in the same manner.
" In the ACT Buttercup has decided they can increase their profit-margins by contracting out their bread delivery service and getting rid of workers who have been loyal to the company for more than twenty years.
" I can't help but point out: it is a half-baked idea.
" The company needs the loyalty of all its customers, not just those in capital cities.
" Buttercup has locally promoted itself in Newcastle as a 'Community Bakery' . That slogan is hollow today."
The company made its latest announcement to cut back its Newcastle workforce at midday on Thursday.
The LHMU is seeking urgent talks to defend the interests of members in a region where unemployment is relatively high.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005