Workers walk out

July 12, 2014

TAIWANESE workers at Midfield’s Warrnambool abattoir walked off the job yesterday morning concerned over changes to their payment slips by a third party.

About 70 left the site part-way through morning shift and returned later for several meetings with management seeking clarification over pay and bonus rates.

Most are expected to resume work Monday morning.

Midfield operations manager Dean McKenna described it as a “minor issue” which had been resolved.

“I can assure you we did a full production run on Friday and will do the same again on Monday,” he said.

“A handful had a query and a gripe over payslips.

“It’s an issue with the immigration manager.”

The Standard understands several hundred Taiwanese are employed at Midfield under the working holiday visa scheme as subcontractors through immigration agents, with the main agent known as Chinese Star based in Sydney.

This company makes deductions from workers’ payments before making deposits into their bank accounts.

The Standard understands the Taiwanese workers do not get taxation slips or other payment details apart from an hourly rate which ranges from about $16 an hour to about $17 on day shift and about $2 an hour extra for night shift.

The agent also deducts money for accommodation.

Koreans also employed at Midfield under the visa scheme are under different agents.

Reprinted from article by PETER COLLINS in the Warrnambool Standard