Chicken shortage could hit Australian supermarkets as Ingham poultry workers walk off jobs
Shoppers are set to face a chicken shortage, with workers at a major wholesaler taking industrial action that could affect meat stocked on supermarket shelves.
More than a thousand Ingham workers will walk off the job for a day, with staff at the meat company demanding a 6 per cent pay rise every year for three years.
This increase would mean workers would receive $1.50 more per hour.
Industrial action is set to begin on Friday, with workers at the company’s factories in Bolivar, in Adelaide’s north, and Osborne Park, in Perth’s northwest, to carry out 24-hour strikes after notice strike notices were sent to the company on Monday.
Workers at meat wholesaler Ingham’s (pictured) will stop work for 24 hours over a pay dispute, with staff demanding a 6 per cent pay rise.
If no deal is reached, there are fears of a meat shortage at major supermarkets including Woolworths and Coles.
It is understood that workers could continue to stay away if their wage demands are not met.
Several other retailers, including popular fast food chains KFC and McDonald’s, would also be affected by a potential meat shortage.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Ingham for comment.
In a statement, United Workers Union national secretary Tim Kennedy told the Daily Mail the pay rise is modest, but staff deserve higher pay.
“Inghams workers only make about $25 an hour and they’re just asking for $1.50 an hour more,” Mr Kennedy said.
“But instead of digging into their deep pockets, Ingham managers opted for cover-up and intimidation.
“This is truly atrocious behavior when you consider that these are the same workers who contributed to their enormous profits by showing up every day, during pandemics, in the middle of the night, on holidays, doing low-level work. glamor to make sure Australians have protein on their plates.
There are fears of a chicken shortage if Ingham workers’ wage demands are not met, with the company’s chicken products stocked in major supermarkets including Coles and Woolworths.
The company reported net income of $1 billion in fiscal 2023, an increase of 72% from last year.
The union says workers have been pushing for a wage increase since the start of this year, due to the rising cost of living.
They say the company has not offered a deal that meets workers’ demands.
It comes after some Ingham chicken products were among several food items facing shortages earlier this year.
Ingham CEO Andrew Reeves told a shareholder meeting in November 2022 that the cost of chicken feed was skyrocketing, while consumer demand was declining.
The company’s annual results released in August 2022 showed that its spending on chicken feed alone increased by more than $45 million in 2022.
According to its website, 8,200 people are employed by the company.
The company’s chicken products were among several food products facing shortages earlier this year.