This week in FMCG

ThisWeekInNews-Mar1-EThis week saw some important news in the FMCG sector, from an offer for an Australian confectionery giant to global multinational news. Take a look back what happened this week.

Yowie said Keybridge offer “highly opportunistic”

Yowie has spoken on the Keybridge takeover offer this week, with chairman Louis Carroll saying shareholders shouldn’t act on it yet. The company’s Board will make a formal recommendation on the takeover bid. He said that the Board “considers the unsolicited approach by KBC to be highly opportunistic.”

Unilever Australia improved superannuation policy

FMCG multinational Unilever Australia has improved a new superannuation policy to help ‘close the gap. It offers full superannuation for an additional 36 weeks of unpaid leave, to improve the support for its employees who are parents and primary caregivers. This latest move of the consumer goods giant is hoping that the move will help close the gender wealth gap as parents taking primary carers leave are still predominantly women.

Improved penalty rates Priceline workers

Retailer Priceline has improved also its penalty rates and leave conditions for its staff. It increased the annual pay as SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer said that the wage growth for Australian workers is quite low thus the need for an increase in salaries. Dywer said further that the new agreement also includes five days paid and five days unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave for all employees per year.

Political battle over higher wages heats up

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has challenged Labor leader Bill Shorten this week on how he plans to increase wages for low paid workers. Morrison warned Shorten that it could lead to job losses. Shorten said he could tweak industrial laws to promote a “living wage” if Labor wins government. But Morrison argued the opposition didn’t entail on the details on how it will be done. He claimed it could intervene with the work of the independent wage umpire which would force businesses to fire people.

J&J to pay US$29m in talc trial

Consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J) was ordered to pay US$29 million ($A41 million) in another talc lawsuit. The FMCG giant allegedly had asbestos in the talcum-powder-based products which caused her cancer. On Wednesday, a California jury handed down the verdict marking the latest defeat for the healthcare conglomerate, which is facing over 13,000 similar lawsuits in the US. But J&J denies the said allegations and plans to appeal the verdict, citing “serious procedural and evidentiary errors” during the course of the trial.

That’s it for this week. Inside FMCG will be back on Monday morning!

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