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Ethical chicken, caged workers - support the NUW at Australia's Baiada Poultry

20 December 2010 Urgent Action
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Australia’s National Union of Workers (NUW) is stepping up its campaign in support of workers at Baiada, the country’s largest poultry producer, by calling on the company’s main bank and largest retailer to insist that Baida guarantee ethical employment standards

Already under government investigation for a brutal workplace regime including underpayment of wages and benefits and discriminatory practices at its free range, “ethically produced” Lilydale poultry plant in Adelaide, the company has now been cited by the state OHS agency WorkSafe for unsafe practices resulting in the death of immigrant contract worker Sarel Singh. Singh, who had already completed his shift, was decapitated when told to clean a line moving at full speed – 183 birds per minute (click here for a news report on Singh’s death and the WorkSafe report).

While Baiada workers are denied permanent employment even after years of service, work in a climate of fear and uncertainty and are told they cannot access workers compensation if they are injured at work, the company’s premium product is marketed and sold as... an “ethical choice” for consumers.

For months, the company has refused to sit down with the union and address these serious issues. Instead, workers are being sat down with company lawyers and managers to be told that it is their union which is the problem, not the company. Some workers at other sites are being handed union resignation forms and being encouraged to leave the union.

CLICK HERE to support the Baiada workers and their union - send a message to the company, their leading source of financial support (Australia’s Westpac bank, a UN Global Compact ) and their major retailer, the Coles Group, which proclaims adherence to an Ethical Sourcing Policy.