Baiada rip-off claims unfounded: union

Rumours that staff at Baiada's chicken processing plant near Griffith are being underpaid are unfounded, says the Australasian Meatworkers Union.

The union visited Baiada's Hanwood factory recently amid claims agency workers were being underpaid, but according to the state secretary, Charlie Donzo, all workers are being paid in accordance with the enterprise agreement, and contract labourers are actually receiving more than the award wage.

The findings come ahead of an expansion at the chicken processing company, which will see it increase staff numbers.

According to the ABC, there have also been rumours of illegal overseas workers at Baiada, but Donzo said these are also unfounded.

"I'm assured by my organisers that the management at Hanwood continually check visas to make sure that any employees that are employed there are current visa holders," he said.

The inquiry into Baiada's treatment of staff comes more than 18 months after the company was heavily criticised for subjecting workers to "brutal" working conditions.

In late 2011 workers at the Baiada chicken factory in Laverton North went on strike for 13 days to campaign for inmproved conditions.

Staff complaints ranged from being paid as little as $8 an hour to being forced to clean the remains of a co-worker – who'd been killed in a chicken packing machine – from the machine so production could recommence.


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