By James Wells

ORANGE: Electrolux workers have rejected a new three-year Enterprise Bargaining Agreement put forward by the company at its refrigeration factory located in Orange.

According to a spokesperson for Electrolux Home Products, the Orange factory had its vote last Thursday and the margin was 295 votes against and 262 for the resolution.

According to the spokesperson, the union has claimed that the 2.5 per cent annual wage rise and bonus system put forward by Electrolux is below inflation.

Other aspects of the EBA include the company asking its employees to work for an extra half an hour during the summer months and then take time in lieu during the winter months when less refrigeration production is required.

The Orange factory closes for a week every year in July, during this low production phase, for tidying up and maintenance of machinery. This period also allows workers in the factory to take time accumulated during the peak summer months.

Three years ago, Electrolux workers voted 521 votes to 516 against the three-year agreement which is about to expire. In 2003, the proposal which was defeated included a 4 per cent pay rise each year, after management offered 2.6 per cent and unions requested 6 per cent.

Electrolux has also been negotiating an EBA with employees and the union at the Regency Park dishwashing factory in Adelaide which does not face seasonal production.

According to the spokesperson, this EBA which was recently defeated allegedly due to a low annual wage rise was passed earlier today. The Regency Park factory does not face the same seasonality as the Orange refrigeration plant.