The management of Baiada Poultry must acknowledge low-paid employees’ concerns about insecure work and participate in negotiations for secure jobs, a safer workplace and decent pay and conditions, say unions.
ACTU President Ged Kearney said the stalemate at Baiada’s chicken processing plant at Laverton in Melbourne’s west would only be resolved when management put a genuine offer to the workforce, who are taking collective action for an agreement which would include the rights for all workers at the plant to have secure jobs.
“It has not been easy for these workers to take this action but they are determined to improve the conditions of all workers and stop the erosion of secure jobs through casuals, labour hire, and cash-in-hand contractors,” said Ms Kearney, who will address a community rally at the Baiada plant this afternoon.
“They want a workplace where rights are respected, with decent pay and conditions, and better health and safety.
“It is time Baiada put aside its legal threats, told its high-paid lawyers to back off, and acknowledged these workers have genuine concerns that should be heard.
“Poultry processing is dangerous and unpleasant work, and these employees are paid minimum wages for their contribution towards the Baiada group’s annual turnover of well in excess of a $1 billion.
“All workers have the right to a secure job for a better future, and Baiada workers are taking action for those rights.”