Seen but not heard? Frontline workers still face a battle to be listened to on issues that matter most to them

The majority of American, Australian, and British frontline workers (67 per cent) say that they are never, rarely, or only sometimes listened to on topics that matter to them the most  – operations (54 per cent), safety (46 per cent), and health/wellbeing (49 per cent) – according to new research by SafetyCulture.

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Deadline looms for Baiada workers

The Fair Work Ombudsman is urging workers who believe they may have been underpaid by labour hire contractors for work at Baiada poultry processing plants this year to lodge their claims before a December 31 deadline.

Under a compliance partnership with the Fair Work Ombudsman signed in October, Baiada agreed to rectify any underpayment of wages by its labour hire contractors from January 1 this year.

However, the agreement only applies to workers who lodge claims before the end of the year.

Baiada has set aside $500,000 to reimburse the workers, with any funds remaining to be distributed to various nominated charities.

Baiada has also agreed to make the back-payments and to continue to implement a range of changes as part of its commitment to work with the Fair Work Ombudsman to stamp out unlawful practices by its contractors at its NSW worksites.

Fairtrade finds reasons to celebrate International Coffee Day

 Whether it’s your morning get-up-and-go or your afternoon pick-me-up, we can all agree coffee is worth celebrating, which is exactly what will be happening on the first official International Coffee Day set to be celebrated on 1 October, 2015.
Tomorrow coffee drinkers around the world will be sharing their love of the beverage and supporting the millions of farmers whose livelihoods depend on its production. 

With 80% of the world’s coffee produced by small scale farmers, Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand is using the day to raise awareness of the benefit our daily caffeine hit can have on farmers in some of the lowest ranking countries on the Human Development Index, including Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Haiti. 
“Coffee is big business and remains one of the most valuable primary products in world trade. However, for many of the world’s 25 million coffee farmers, coffee is a labour intensive crop that frequently yields very little financial return,” says Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand CEO Molly Harriss Olson.
“Small scale farmers are particularly vulnerable to the growing effects of climate change, but increasing sales of Fairtrade coffee can help farmers in developing countries combat the devastating impacts and help lift themselves out of poverty,” she says.
Climate change has been identified as a key factor facilitating the outbreak of leaf rust disease, which is affecting over 50 per cent of the total coffee growing area in Central America.
Fairtrade sets standards for a variety of products, including coffee, which focuses on three areas of sustainable development; social development, economic development and environmental development. These Fairtrade Standards help to act as a safety net against the unpredictable market and provide security to coffee producers so they will receive a price that covers their average costs of sustainable production.
A major commodity in the Fairtrade system, coffee is a growing industry, currently being produced across more than 30 countries. In 2013 alone Fairtrade coffee farmer organisations received $AUD63.6 million in Fairtrade Premium. Of this Premium, approximately 50 per cent was invested back into the producer organisations to improve infrastructure, facilities and processes while the remaining 50% was spent of direct services to local coffee farmers and their communities.
“Consumers of Fairtrade coffee can enjoy their beverage knowing that their purchase is supporting farming communities in developing countries to raise their standard of living and create a sustainable future for their whole community,” says Harriss Olson.

Mars Australia is officially a ‘Great Place to Work’- again

For the fourth year in a row, Mars Australia has been recognised as being one of Australia’s best workplaces by the BRW Great Place to Work Awards, being ranked as the 15th best place to work in the country.

The awards are Australia’s most highly regarded annual study of workplace excellence, identifying the top 50 Australian workplaces in terms of culture.
Sylvia Burbery, General Manager at Mars Petcare Australia said it is the company’s five core principles that distinguish and underpin its success in Australia.
“We are proud to be recognised as a great place to work. We believe our values and our people are integral to our success, which is why we have an unwavering commitment to creating a distinctive culture that is collaborative and energetic. In doing so, we are able to drive our business forward, and benefit communities,” Ms Burbery said.
From dynamic office floor plans that encourage collaboration to team cooking classes and the opportunity to bring pets to the workplace, it is the culture across all Mars business segments that was highlighted by the award. The company has also been credited for its wellness programs as well as local and global volunteering opportunities.

“After 100 years of global success, nearly 50 years of success in Australia and creating hundreds of products that have become household names, we’re still a private, family-owned business. Our story and our vision are an important part of our identity, and that inspires our Associates each and every day.

“Ultimately, people want to work for a company that inspires them, that fosters innovation and creates an engaging work environment, and that’s why people come to join, stay and grow with Mars Australia,” Ms Burbery said.