Fears grow over chicken shortage at KFC, Woolworths and Coles in Australia
Chicken shortages could hit some of Australia’s most popular brands, including KFC and Woolworths, after workers at a major poultry supplier voted Friday to lay off workers over a pay dispute.
More than 1,000 Inghams workers are taking industrial action at the producer’s factories in Western Australia and South Australia following failed wage negotiations.
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and United Workers Union are seeking a 6 per cent pay rise a year over the next three years, which AMWU state secretary Steve McCartney said the company listed on the ASX could “easily afford”.
McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and Sauce.
“Inghams reported a profit of $60.4 million in the last financial year, an increase of 72 per cent on the previous year,” he said.
“Our members are only asking about $1.50 more per hour to cover the cost of living.
“Not only are they refusing to offer their workers a pay rise, but they have also started using intimidation tactics to prevent our members from taking protected industrial action.
“This is appalling behavior, when all these workers are asking for is a fair wage.”
Inghams has a market capitalization of $1.25 billion and supplies chicken to Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, KFC, McDonalds and Subway.
The outage began at 12:01 a.m. Friday and will continue until midnight.
The union said the move would likely lead to shortages among the company’s customers.
Inghams supplies chicken to major brands including Woolworths, Coles and KFC. Photo: Australian Chicken Meat Federation
“Inghams defended workers, threatened them with lockouts and used propaganda to confuse workers about their protected rights,” Mr McCartney said.
“We say enough is enough and it’s time to act.”
The union said it would not rule out further strikes in the dispute.
Inghams has been contacted for comment.