Australia: Migrant & refugee farm workers plan strike action against Perfection Fresh for better pay & work conditions

Author: Ben Schneiders, The Age (Melbourne), Published on: 30 July 2017

"Migrant farm workers take on one of Australia's richest families, the Smorgons", 29 July 2017

Migrant farm workers are taking on one of Australia's richest families, the Smorgons, in what could be the first major strike in the farm sector for many decades.

The workers and a union are seeking better pay and conditions at giant glasshouses north of Adelaide at a company [Perfection Fresh]...

Strikes are almost non-existent in the farm sector, which is overwhelmingly non-union...migrant workers appeared in the Fair Work Commission to argue that they were...representing their co-workers and wanted to strike. One worker, Ejaz Ali...said he was representing up to 50 workers and that they were prepared to strike so they "could demand our rights"... 

The company employs about 440 workers at the Adelaide facility, most...are casual and born overseas or refugees. The workers are paid basic minimum wages with no penalty rates or overtime. Perfection Fresh is a major supplier of tomatoes and cucumbers to Coles and Woolworths...

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Related companies: Coles Group (part of Wesfarmers) Perfection Fresh Woolworths Group