Published: 05/12/2012

Members of the IUF-affiliated Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU) at PepsiCo’s Bluebird Foods plant in Auckland, New Zealand, voted against company proposals on reduced overtime pay rates that would threaten unionized jobs in Australia .

Since labour costs at Bluebird Foods are already lower than PepsiCo’s Smith’s Snackfood plants in Australia, SFWU’s 260 members at Bluebird rejected lower overtime rates that would make them even “cheaper”. The company’s offer was seen as a direct threat to jobs at Smith’s where workers are members of the IUF-affiliated National Union of Workers (NUW).

The actions of SFWU members at Bluebird Foods represent a coordinated fightback by food workers in New Zealand and Australia against the competitive pressures created by transnational companies to drive down wages and destroy jobs in a race to the bottom.