The workers will refuse all overtime until the matter is resolved, says E tū Lead Organiser, Mark James.
“The company depends on our members doing overtime, as the plant is healthy and doing good business,” says Mark.
Mark says the total cost of meeting the members’ claims is about $118,000 – compared with company profits for the year to December, 2017 of $5.55 million.
The members are seeking a pay rise of 75 cents an hour, as well as an additional day’s sick leave, and an additional day of bereavement leave.
“Our members work in a cold, damp environment with temperatures below 4 degrees, so they get sick more often,” says Mark.
“And because they work with food, they may be required to stay away from work if they catch a bug – and some must do this when they have no sick leave left.
“Our members need just a tiny portion of Premier Bacon’s profit to meet these claims,” he says.
“By contrast, the company is investing about $15 million in expansion plans. Our claim is worth just 1.6 percent of that amount. Workers are Premier Bacon’s biggest asset and they should be respected.”