Article from ABC Online April 23, 2014
The Australasian Meat Industry Employees Union says it has further evidence of labour hire companies underpaying foreign workers at Primo Smallgoods in Scone.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has lodged a case in the Federal Circuit Court about similar claims involving a labour hire company employed by Primo.
In March, Primo took out advertisements in Hunter newspapers refuting the allegations and accusing the union of providing no evidence to substantiate them.
But the union’s northern branch secretary Grant Courtney says the evidence has been provided and there is more to come.
“When we provided the evidence last year, we had – we would say – unchallengeable information in relation to gross underpayments, non-payment of tax and avoidance of paying workers compensation premiums,” he said.
“We’ve collected further evidence recently from other companies engaged at the Primo Scone site, reflecting similar circumstances.”
Mr Courtney says more union members have now come forward with similar allegations.
“We’ve so far submitted and provided claims for 32 workers from three companies that are engaged at the Primo Scone operation,” he said.
“We have another 60 members that are processing their claims at the moment, and once those claims are provided to us we will provide those claims to the company.”
A Primo spokesman says the company would never knowingly engage any supplier who did not meet its lawful obligations.
It says it has begun auditing the labour hire companies it uses.