Sauce strike over, Vic workers accept deal

Susie Allison says the McCormick decision shows workers can win if they unite.
Susie Allison says the McCormick decision shows workers can win if they unite.

Melbourne workers who produce dipping sauces for some of Australia's biggest fast-food chains have approved a new pay deal, ending a long-running strike.

About 100 workers at the McCormick food factory in Clayton South stopped work for six weeks, demanding better pay and conditions.

They returned to the factory floor on Thursday morning after members voted to accept a new offer from the US-based company, the United Workers Union has confirmed.

Under the new three-year agreement, workers retain all their existing conditions and will receive a three per cent pay rise each year as well as a $5000 sign-on bonus.

McCormick makes sauces for a number of fast-food chains, including McDonalds and KFC, Hungry Jacks and Nando's.

Over the course of the strike workers camped outside the site for six weeks, hosted federal Labor MP Tanya Plibersek at a rally and protested at McCormick customers' stores.

Susie Allison, Victorian secretary of the United Workers Union, described the campaign as a "David and Goliath story".

"This has been a fight for respect for all essential workers who toiled through the pandemic, while their companies made massive profits, only to be told that there was no money for a pay rise," she said in a statement on Thursday.

"McCormick workers drew a line in the sand and said enough is enough. This win has shown that when workers stand united, they can win."

Australian Associated Press