none
none

STREETS DISPUTE HEATS UP AS SUMMER NEARS

03-10-2017
by 
in 

Things are heating up at the Streets Minto production facility, and that's the last thing you need when making ice-cream. 

After being purchased from the original owning and founding family by international giant Unilever, the iconic Australian brand has hit the headlines multiple times. Disagreements between the existing workforce and new management are making production unsteady, and the latest news about working conditions and pay cuts are unlikely to improve things. 

Streets is now intending to install 90 surveillance cameras across its Sydney manufacturing plant in order to "monitor employee performance", provoking angry workers to state that “this is how an ice cream factory would operate if it was run by North Korea”.

This comes hot on the heels of comments from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union threatening a boycot campaign in response to looming pay cuts which could cost workers up to 46% of their wages. 

“I’ve been to mass meetings, talking to workers on site — some of them very loyal employees — and they cannot believe Unilever is doing this to them after 20 years of working for the company,” said Steve Murphy, the AMWU New South Wales secretary.

“One worker said they worry about how they will continue to support their autistic child with the same level of care and therapy. Another said they will probably lose their family if the [pay cut] goes ahead.”

Workers are unable to voice concerns through social media, with the company's policy saying that negative comments and 'negative emojis' must not be used against the Streets corporation by any of its employees on social media. 

Documents (obtained by The Australian) reveal that the newly installed cameras will be used for “workplace surveillance”, including “to monitor work ­activity to improve productivity” and “to monitor the adherence to time and attendance rules”.

Other stated objectives for the cameras include crime detection and reduction, but union officials and employees are concerned that the surveilance will be focused on efficiency. 

“It just seems as if they’re trying to catch people out for minor infringements and furthering this culture of bullying that ­appears to be going on when you threaten workers about speaking out on social media," said Murphy. 

“We could have worked through a policy in terms of CCTV for food safety and security. That’s sensible stuff. I am not sure how we respond to this stuff, which is just a little bit crazy."

The union is preparing for a campaign calling consumers to boycott well-known Streets brands, including Magnum and Golden Gaytime. 

Related news & editorials

  1. Adaptalift acquires Budget
    11.12.2017
    11.12.2017
    by      In
    Adaptalift Group has completed its acquisition of Budget Forklifts.
    Budget Forklifts was established in 1968 and is the Yale Dealer in Western Australia and Queensland. Adaptalift Group will continue to operate Budget Forklifts as the Yale dealership in those territories.
    Budget Forklifts has more... Read More
  2. 07.12.2017
    07.12.2017
    by      In
    It’s official: Industry Update is on the rise. The November 2017 issue of the magazine was distributed to 19,030 subscribers – a figure confirmed by an independent auditors’ report to the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA).
    The figure, which corresponds to a circulation in excess of 76,... Read More
  3. 07.12.2017
    07.12.2017
    by      In
    Amidst a barrage of complaints from consumers and companies alike, NBN Co has announced that it will cease selling services on its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network.
    This temporary halt in rollout is due to "interference" from Telstra's infrastructure, which was leading to dropouts and... Read More
  4. 07.12.2017
    07.12.2017
    by      In
    Just one year ago pain med brand Nurofen was slugged with a $6 million dollar fine for making false claims about pain relief; now Voltaren is under fire for the exact same issue.
    The ACCC has filed formal proceedings in the Federal Court against GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, alleging the drugmakers... Read More