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More than 1000 Inghams workers – who are United Workers Union (UWU) members – are planning to stop work for 24 hours tomorrow unless the company agrees to a 6 per cent per year pay rise for employees over the next three years.
The increase would equate to a $1.50 per hour pay rise for workers.
The strike action is planned for factories in South Australia and Western Australia.
Inghams supplies major supermarket retailers including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi as well as fast food outlets KFC and McDonald’s.
National UWU secretary Tim Kennedy told 2GB‘s James Willis there is a risk there will be shortages of chicken this weekend.
“If we don’t reach an agreement with Inghams and they don’t listen to their workers and continue to refuse to acknowledge the contribution those workers have made to these enormous profits, the poultry won’t be processed and there will be shortages of chicken,” he said.
Kennedy said Inghams raked in a $60.4 million profit in the last financial year while workers had not seen wage increases in “some time”.
“Our workers are telling us they have got to think twice pushing that trolley up and down the supermarket aisles,” he said, saying a six per cent pay increase was not much compared to the increased cost of living.
Kennedy warned, “If you want KFC this weekend for the footy finals, I wouldn’t be banking on it”.
KFC declined to comment when contacted by 9news.com.au regarding the potential shortages.
“We work with a range of poultry suppliers, and so don’t expect there will be any impact on availability for Coles customers,” a Coles spokesperson said.
Woolworths and Aldi both have both said they do not believe there will be a noticeable impact on customers.
McDonald’s has not responded to a request for comment.