The ACTU stands in solidarity with essential food workers at McCain in Tasmania who have been locked out of work for the second time in two weeks.

The company have locked out their workers and stopped paying them despite no industrial action having been taken by the workers.

Management at McCain in Smithton locked workers out on Thursday night, escalating the situation rather than resolving it in good faith by sitting down at the bargaining table.

Workers have called on the frozen food company to return to the bargaining table to discuss decent pay and conditions that are in line with workers on the mainland.

Smithton workers get up to 15 per cent less pay than workers doing the same job at McCain Ballarat. Workers are also calling for improved sick pay, and better conditions for apprentices.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Workers at McCain Tasmania are simply asking to be paid the same as mainland workers – they’re getting up to 15 per cent less pay than McCain Ballarat workers for the same job – that’s unfair.

“McCain has tried to suppress workers voices by locking them out without pay for the second time in two weeks before they’ve even taken any action. This is an act of aggression, and we stand with the AMWU calling on McCain to return to the bargaining table.

“McCain workers took a pay cut to help the company through Covid, and this is how they are repaid? McCain must come back to the bargaining table, act in good faith, and give workers equal pay and conditions to mainland workers.”