A pay row has erupted between Sherrin and factory workers, which could lead to strikes

  • A Sherrin shortage could hamper the AFL finals 
  • Workers are threatening to strike 
  • The pay dispute totals just $45,000 

 The AFL is at risk of suffering a ball shortage on the eve of this season’s finals.

According to Nine, the manufacturing team at Sherrin – consisting of over 15 people – are threatening to go on strike amid a pay dispute worth $45,000.

Staff at Sherrin’s Keysborough factory are reportedly angry after being offered a four percent per annum pay increase over the next two years. 

The workers are demanding a five per cent jump in pay, equating to 10 per cent across the two-year deal.

They are employed by US company Russell Athletic to hand stitch the footballs, and the United Workers Union has filed for a protected action ballot order to the Fair Work Commission.

Upon ballot approval, the members are aiming to engage in a protected industrial action unless they can come to a resolution. 

The workforce typically produce 200-250 Sherrins for AFL and AFLW matches, meaning that any time off work could jeopardise both competitions. 

A pay row has erupted between Sherrin and factory workers, which could lead to strikes

A pay row has erupted between Sherrin and factory workers, which could lead to strikes

It means that the AFL finals could be in jeopardy due to a shortage of balls

It means that the AFL finals could be in jeopardy due to a shortage of balls

The report adds that there is a backlog of balls to last roughly six weeks, which could coincide with the finals in September.

A strike also runs the risk of impacting new balls with state of the art chips, which are currently being trialled in the women’s competition. 

United Workers Union representative Steve Howie said: ‘Gil McLachlan’s salary last year was $33,653 per week without bonuses, so a pay rise for Sherrin workers would be equivalent to one week and two days salary of the AFL CEO.’  

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