Unions will meet with Bega Cheese management and staff this week to discuss the company's decision to cut over 70 positions at its Bega site by the end of the year.
Representatives from the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union (AMIEU), the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) will hold a range of meetings on Tuesday surrounding the announcement earlier this month 74 processed cheese factory positions will be lost by December.
Against the backdrop of a slow bushfire recovery and the economic consequences of coronavirus, we will fight to look after every union member and their families.The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union
"Workers and their representatives are looking to better understand the rationalisation and timing of this announcement," NSW AMIEU secretary Patricia Fernandez said on Monday.
"We are seeking to work constructively with Bega Cheese to minimise the adverse impacts on local workers and the entire region."
In a July 7 letter to staff, Bega Cheese CEO Paul van Heerwaarden said the decision was made following an organisational review involving Boston Consulting Group.
He said the review aimed "to simplify our business and processes and reduce complexity to ensure that we have the infrastructure, supply chain and customer model that will create value for us well into the future".
"This is not a decision that I have taken lightly and is one that does not sit comfortably with Bega as an organisation," he said in the letter.
Mr van Heerwaarden said he expects further changes will be announced towards the end of the year.
"The review of these further changes is ongoing and at this stage the expected outcomes are uncertain," he said.
The current proposed job losses are within the Individually Wrapped Processed Cheese Slices plant at the company's Ridge Street Facility, and brings the number of roles cut by the company to 110 since October last year.
Mr van Heerwaarden said voluntary redundancies will be offered, and processed cheese staff may be able to retrain for other roles within the company.
"Given the devastating year for the Bega region, it's critical we fight to keep every job we can in this community," NSW/ACT secretary of the AMWU Steve Murphy said.
"Against the backdrop of a slow bushfire recovery and the economic consequences of coronavirus, we will fight to look after every union member and their families."