3% wage increase not enough, fight for 4%, union tells JBS workers


JBS meatworkers who have been fighting for better pay and working conditions have been urged by the union to reject the company’s latest offer.

The secret ballot will be conducted on Friday and Saturday, and will give workers the option to vote for or against a 3 per cent pay rise increase offered by the company.

The workers have been fighting for months to have a four per cent wage increase as part of their bargaining agreement, and the Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union is advising workers to stick to their guns and not accept the three per cent offer.

After planned industrial action that was cancelled at the eleventh hour, the JBS meatworks in Rockhampton closed as workers walked off the job last Friday.

The union has accused JBS of treating the workers like second class citizens, and according to Rockhampton branch secretary, Brian Crawford, the company’s main competitors are increasing their employee’s wages by four per cent.

"A 'yes' vote will see these workers slip further and further behind the rest of the industry as well as slipping further behind employees working for the same company doing the same job, albeit at different locations," Crawford said.

JBS spokesman John Berry disagreed with the comments, saying comparisons are ineffective because bargaining agreements finished at different times.

The Electoral Commission will oversee the vote on Friday and Saturday.

Do you think JBS employees are justified to demand a four per cent payrise? 


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