Fast food chains and retailers are facing a potential chicken shortage with hundreds of workers at a poultry giant set to follow through on a threat to strike over pay on Friday.
Inghams employees at factories in WA and South Australia will walk off the job from 12.01am for 24 hours, with the United Workers Union flagging further action could be on the cards over the following days if negotiations don’t progress.
Workers have demanded a wage rise of six per cent over the coming three years to deal with cost-of-living pressures, but say the offer on the table falls well short of that.
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The strike is expected to impact fast food chains including McDonald’s and KFC, as well as supermarkets Woolworths and Aldi.
The UWU said Inghams, one of the country’s largest poultry producers, could afford to deal with workers after the company’s net profits surged by 72 per cent in the 2023 financial year to $60.4 million.
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“Seventy-eight thousand chickens are processed at this facility (in Perth) on average, daily,” union spokesperson Louise Gillon said.
“That will have impacts in Aldi, Woolworths, Coles, KFC. The workers here produce a chicken that goes all over the state and yes, there will be huge impacts.”
An Inghams representative said the company had been working in good faith to finalise new enterprise agreements.
“It is disappointing that it has become necessary to lodge an application with the Fair Work Commission,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“We are working closely with our customers and do not anticipate any interruption to supply during this time.”
It is understood Woolworths is not anticipating any impact on in-store supply from the one-day of action.
Workers will rally outside factories in Osborne Park in Perth and Burton in Adelaide on Friday.
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