Women cheese packers at Lactalis-owned Jindi Cheese in Victoria, Australia are on strike for pay equality with men at other Lactalis sites. The women are members of the IUF-affiliated United Workers Union, which is campaigning to end pay discrimination at Lactalis.
At AUD 20 per hour, the women earn just above the minimum wage; many have had to take second jobs. Their male counterparts at the Lactalis-owned site in Longwarry, ten minutes away, earn AUD 26 per hour, and in another factory close by the rate is AUD 32 per hour.
“Workers at the cheese factory – predominantly women workers from the packing room – are taking action to fight for wage parity with male workers at other Lactalis sites”, said Susie Allison, UWU national director for food and beverages “Despite working in a speciality cheese factory, they are amongst the lowest paid Lactalis workers – and the lowest paid workers in dairy.”
You can support these workers’ fight for their rights through their online petition here.
The French-based dairy giant has locked out workers in Australia twice over the past four years. Its goal has been to destroy job security and lower wage costs. But IUF affiliates fought back and won pay increases and enhanced job security.