Published: 17/10/2012

IUF affiliates in Australia and New Zealand are fighting a Kraft edict that no wedding rings shall be worn in their factories. While food workers are accustomed to removing jewellery for food safety and health and safety reasons, the sacred wedding ring is normally exempt. But Kraft policy states if the rings can’t be removed, they must be cut off.  Food companies normally deal with the issue through the requirement to wear gloves or an x-ray sensitive adhesive band. Kraft have acknowledged that the policy is not for OSH reasons but rather for food safety and are refusing to negotiate any alternatives. Plain wedding bands are permitted by the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Authority. The AMWU in Australia have referred the matter to Fair Work Australia but Kraft are challenging the authority of this commission to make a ruling. The SFWU in New Zealand are seeking legal advice. In 2006, some members of BCTGM in the US were forced to have their rings cut off by a professional jeweler and many workers have never forgiven the company for this insensitive act.