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.
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…
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