Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has revealed that 160 manufacturing jobs are still uncertain at chocolate manufacturer Darrell Lea.
The AMWU is hopeful a future can be found for workers and the company, after the Sydney-based manufacturer entered administration last week.
AMWU member Christine Bailey said the news came as a shock.
“We were all asked to meet in the canteen at 10.15 and we thought what’s going on? And when we got there, there was a lot of admin people there and we thought oh that’s very strange because normally they don’t come to our meetings.
“People were just dumbstruck, absolutely dumbstruck. They didn’t know, they didn’t know how to handle it. I saw one girl from admin, she was crying.”
AMWU NSW Food and Confectionery Division Secretary, Bruce O’Keefe, has revealed the union and workers had since been updated about Darrell Lea’s financial situation and were preparing to meet with administrators this Thursday.
“We’re looking forward to getting a clearer picture from PPB (company administrators). At this stage we understand there have been a number of formal and informal offers made to buy the company.
“Ideally any new owner would not break up the company but would retain all of the jobs in manufacturing. It would ensure this important side of the business is protected.”
It was still unclear though, whether the company would be able to pay all the workers entitlements said Mr O’Keefe.
“Although they are concerned about their future, it’s business as usual for our members, they’re continuing on the production floor. What we’re looking for from the administrators and potential buyers is a bit of that in return. A commitment to keep jobs and maintain this proud and loyal workforce.”
Since the company has entered into administration, Mr O’Keefe said Australians had shown support for the confectionary brand, delivering a boost in business that has given the administrator valuable time to look into the future of the business and jobs.