Australian meat workers fight 20 percent pay cut


Here we have the classic economic paradox.

All our (Australian) industries sold to overseas interests. Globalization resulting in free trade. Goods and services uncompetitive with cheap overseas labour and goods. Unions with power pushing employers to breaking point. A government that does not oppose global pressures which are inevitably detrimental to our economy. Manufacturing and services being outsourced. Reducing revenue for the governments. Imported foods destroying our food industry. Loss of control of health and safety standards. Past reliance on continuous growth for survival coming to the unavoidable and foreseeable end.

Politicians upping their own salaries clearly without any productivity increases whilst denying basic level employees. On the other hand, although skilled and unpleasant work, $25 per hour is better than no job. On the other hand, blackmail by the employer is unacceptable. Leave pay rate loading  has always been a luxury in the labour force.

If the meat processing industry has a substantial reduction in capacity, it would be a catastrophic development. It must not be allowed to take place. Far from an easy situation to fix.

However, the government have allowed or encouraged the out-of-Australian control situation to arise, they need to accept responsibility and prevent closures at all costs.

THE INTERNET POST

Australian meat workers fight 20 percent pay cut

By Mike Head
3 June 2013

In what could become a test case for major wage cutting throughout Australian industry, 800 workers at the Teys Australia meat processing plant at Beenleigh, in southern Brisbane, struck for 24 hours last Friday against the company’s demand for a pay cut of more than 20 percent.

Striking workers held a mass picket outside the gates, winning support from passing motorists. It was the second strike in a week, following a four-hour stoppage the previous week.

Teys Australia, the second largest meat processor and exporter in Australia—with six meat plants on the east coast—has threatened to shut down the facility unless workers accept drastic cuts to their wages and conditions, as well as heavier workloads.

CEO Brad Teys declared that if labour costs were not lowered, the meat industry would close in Australia, just like the…

View original post 55 more words

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About Ken McMurtrie

Retired Electronics Engineer, most recently installing and maintaining medical X-Ray equipment. A mature age "student" of Life and Nature, an advocate of Truth, Justice and Humanity, promoting awareness of the injustices in the world.
This entry was posted in AUSTRALIA, FOODS and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Australian meat workers fight 20 percent pay cut

  1. hirundine608 says:

    While my sympathy is for workers who are receiving this sort of treatment. I have zero sympathy for the type of work being done here. Killing and processing animals, is just plain ….. wrong.

    As pointed out, politicians are feathering their own nest at the expense of corporate greed.

    The problem that working people face, are mostly due to more people than jobs. When machines are doing the work without sick pay or vacations. When the countries that have huge population, on an income that most people in a country like Australia or Canada could not really imagine.

    We are being run by people with low-empathy and an inability to understand. That with more money in society, means more income is spent on consumer goods.

    • I understand your sentiment, Jamie, but the aspect of right and wrong regarding killing animals for food is not clearcut, IMHO. Neither from a human nor religious point of view. I dislike the killing of wild animals, and that process could understandably be considered a crime against nature.
      Yet that would technically include fish and I think of them as fair game, but not when sustainability is in question . Similarly any naturally born animal whose numbers are genuinely causing problems – a decision to kill them and not waste the food is quite acceptable to me.
      Where I don’t feel there is any significant moral issue is in the specific breeding of animals for food. Sure, we are then playing God with “his creatures” but I think of that as acceptable. I feel for the animals but these have been brought to life for our purpose and a line is drawn. Providing, of course, that cruelty is avoided and that they are dealt with respectfully and painlessly.
      As an illustration of my drawing lines, so to speak, and probably also my imperfect logic, but also of my degree of compassion – I no longer eat veal after seeing a vealer being bred for that purpose and learning of its young age of slaughtering.

      This is how I justify my eating beef, lamb, poultry and fish, without any guilt and with considerable pleasure.

      It comes down to, in my opinion, a personal choice which, although harm to creatures in involved, is basically simply that, a personal choice. Judgement of other people making this choice is unfair. Freedom to make the choice is fair.

      Bottom line for me is however, no cruelty or pain. These things unfortunately do happen, should not be condoned, should be judged as wrong, and dealt with accordingly. Someone will undoubtedly question “is killing not cruel?” Taking a life is cruel but if without pain, not so bad. Snuffing out a life is not a proud thing to be doing, but if the animal is bred for food, again, not so bad. Personal opinion only. My assessment of right and wrong is not being forced on anyone else, just explained as best I can.

      On the ‘income’ question, I would like to add my surprise about the claim of the US rate for meatworkers being $7 per hour. If that is true, they are guilty of slave labour and the situation immediately fixed.

      • hirundine608 says:

        I mostly object to the slaughter and eating of warm-blooded mammals. They are much further along the evolutionary trail. It is said pigs, not wild boars, pigs contain human DNA? Warm-blooded mammals, are almost our kin.

        Mammals are much more sentient than fish. At least hunting is generally more humane; than keeping the poor creatures tethered or penned. With anti-biotics shot into them, kept in transport without water, for days. Often with broken legs, or backs. Geese that are kept in contraptions to have grain forced down their gullets to enlarge their livers for foie gras. ….. and on! Veal is but the tip of an iceberg, of cruelty. Mad cow disease, foot and mouth, tuberculosis.

        Yet I choose not to eat the charred flesh of warm-blooded mammals, because I have no wish to eat my auntie, or any other relative, re-born into their bodies. For consuming warm-blooded mammals is almost cannibalistic.

        Like smokers, who cannot smell stale tobacco. The stench of the meat counter, fast food outlets and the barbecues on a warm summers evening, are quite revolting.

        Workers have but one string to their bow. Withdrawal of labour. Once there are ten willing to step into the labour, That string is broken. That is the world of fascism.

      • A fair point of view. Thanks for contributing so much of your understanding and feelings.
        What you say is true from that point of view and it may be close to God’s ideals.
        Still, viewpoints, understandings and feelings are personal things and logically cannot be, or at least are not, shared by all, even if that were the true ideal.
        Especially interesting how our views differ on the wild animals aspect. At least we agree about the abominable treatment that ‘captive’ animals do receive but that is dependent on circumstances.
        We are all different, for a number of reasons, most of which are ‘natural’. Otherwise we would be more or less clones and God help us if we were all like some people.
        Imagine us all Hitlers or Obama’s or “Nuttyyahoo” etc? A nightmare!
        On the other hand we might all be like Jesus, Mohammad, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jnr, etc., that would be a nice dream.
        Given that there seems to be no way we are evolving in the latter direction, we have take what comes and do our best.

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