McCormick workers in Clayton, Victoria, who make some of Australia’s most popular food products, have taken industrial action this morning after being denied a pay rise for over five years.
The protected industrial action of an indefinite stoppage will be extremely disruptive to McCormick’s most important Australian facility.
This bitter dispute sees a megacorporation trying to strip workers’ conditions including taking away shift penalties, overtime loading and meal breaks.
Workers are furious that after five years without any pay rise, and working throughout the pandemic to keep restaurants and supermarkets stocked, McCormick is offering a zero per cent pay rise and cuts to their conditions across the board.
Workers are only asking to maintain their conditions and receive a modest pay rise of three per cent for each year of the agreement. As a result of inflation, members’ real earnings have fallen by more than six and half per cent since 2016.
The Victorian facility is the only one in Australia producing some of Australia’s most popular products and sauces such as Aeroplane Jelly, Keen’s Mustard, KFC’s iconic gravy as well as sweet and sour sauce for McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC, and Red Rooster. A full list of products made at the site is available here.
Quotes attributable to Susie Allison, United Workers Union Victorian Secretary:
“McCormick is a disgrace. Our members worked every day during the pandemic to ensure McCormick could continue to provide food products to restaurants and supermarkets. In return McCormick is now offering these essential workers no pay rise and slashing their conditions. How’s that fair?
“Food companies that have made a profit over the pandemic have a responsibility to workers and the community to pay fair wage increases to assist with economic recovery. Instead, McCormick is insulting essential food workers who worked every day during lock down, with a zero per cent wage increase and attacks on their conditions.
“We are keen as mustard to get McCormick to give their workers a fair pay rise.”
Quotes attributable to a McCormick worker who wishes to remain anonymous:
“Over my last five years at the company, I haven’t had a pay rise. That makes it really difficult to make ends meet when the price of groceries and bills keeps going up.
“After five years, McCormick hasn’t moved their position at all. We don’t appreciate them attacking our conditions and offering no pay rise. We are fighting to protect our conditions and get enough to manage the home budget.”
For the year ended 31 December 2019, the company McCormick Foods Australia Pty Ltd (McCormick),
reported revenue of $122.8 million. In the four years to December 2019, McCormick became significantly more profitable, with bottom-line profit growing nearly 40 per cent per year.
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