Senate debates

Thursday, 5 August 2021


Workplace Relations

1:58 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Recently workers at McCain Foods in Smithton, through their union, the AMWU, notified the company, in accordance with the law, that they'd be taking industrial action in support of claims for their enterprise agreement. They've been attempting to negotiate with the company for the past six months. The company locked them out on two occasions. A delegate on the site recently posted a message on social media. She said:

Ah McCain, you've done it again!

… I'm a proud Tasmanian. I was born and bred in Smithton. I've been a quality assessor at McCain Foods here in Smithton … for seven years, and a delegate for five. My mother used to do the same work I do and that makes me proud.

Our bosses at McCain Foods have just shut us out of our workplace this morning because they're refusing to agree to decent pay and conditions.

We're essential food workers in Tasmania, we're the ones that have kept food on the table during a pandemic but our bosses refuse to recognise this. We've taken lower pay increases in the past to help the company out during harder times, but now they're set for a record tonnage.

It's totally unfair because workers at McCain Foods on the mainland are earning up to 15% more than us for the same work. And, again … just down the road at Simplot, food workers earn about 15% more for doing the same work.

…   …   …

We've bargained with McCain in good faith, but now they have locked us out of the workplace as a bargaining tactic.


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