“What do we want? 6%,” striking workers chanted at their picket line outside Inghams Chicken in Western Australia and South Australia on September 22.
The workers are being supported by the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union (AMWU) and the United Workers Union (UWU).
The workers voted to return to the picket line on September 25, if Inghams refuses to return to the bargaining table.
The workers, many of whom earn around $25 an hour, are demanding a 6% pay rise or $1.50 an hour as a result of cost-of-living rises. Inghams’ current offer is 3.5%.
Meanwhile Inghams’ CEO Andrew Reeves gave himself a 9% pay rise, on top of his $1.1 million salary.
Steve McCartney, secretary of the AMWU Western Australia, told Green Left that Inghams pays their mostly migrant workforce very low wages. Inghams supplies KFC outlets and supermarkets.
Louise Dillon, an organiser with the UWU, told the picket that up to 1000 workers had stopped production at Inghams factories in WA and SA.
McCartney urged supporters to show up on September 25 to support the strikers.
Western Australian Police came to the picket line early in the morning, threatening strikers with arrest if they did not move on.