Harvey Fresh - Lowest Paid Dairy Workers in Australia

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Working 13 hour days, no overtime rates and you have to eat your lunch in the bathroom.

This is the reality for workers at Harvey Fresh in the South West.

Horrific conditions mean many workers are doing up to 13 hours shifts with no overtime pay or breaks.

On top of this they are working for up to 30 per cent less than other dairy workers, giving them the dubious title of lowest paid dairy workers in the country.

Factory owner Parmalat bought out Harvey Fresh earlier this year, promising workers better conditions and a new EBA.

This has not been the case.

One Harvey Fresh worker, who has asked not to be named, said that workers are only taking home$1100 to $1200, but for this they’re working 13 hour days, six days a week.

“We start working at 5 o’clock in the morning and don’t finish until 5, 6, 7 or sometimes 8 o’clock in the evening and didn’t receive any penalty or over time rates.

“Sometimes if you come home at 8 o’clock, you eat your dinner, then you sleep, then you wake up again at 4 o’clock and go to work again for another 13 or 14 hours… So it’s so hard.”

Pat O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary of United Voice WA said the workers are exhausted and are often sick.

“They rarely get breaks; one staff member eats lunch in the bathroom, because they are so busy cleaning.

“Parmalat promised to support this community but we are seeing workers who can barely make ends meet and have no family time.

“Most importantly these workers need a pay rise. They work over 13 hours a day, six days a week, with no overtime rates or penalties,” Mr O’Donnell said.

For the first time ever an Enterprise Bargaining committee has been established by the workers to gain better conditions, but so far an EBA offer has been rejected by Parmalat.

Do you think this is good enough?

Leave a message on the Harvey Fresh Facebook Page to let them know what you think about conditions faced by their staff. 

Media:

Harvey-Waroona Reporter: "Conditions at dairy under fire"

United Voice Assistant Secretary Pat O'Donnell on ABC Southwest: