INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY PROTEST AT MELBOURNE BAKERY
Ahead of International Women’s Day this weekend, around 60 – 80 women will be taking to the streets to protest the mistreatment and exploitation faced by workers at Davies Bakery every single day.
One of Australia’s leading bread manufacturers is accused of discriminating against a pregnant worker by refusing to give her a full-time position, and then cutting all her shifts after she told her manager she was pregnant in an application lodged at VCAT this morning.
Rajdeep Kaur, who has worked as a casual employee at the bakery for almost 1.5 years, said, “like so many migrant workers I came to Australia for a better life. I have worked very hard at Davies Bakery, and would regularly work 6 days a week, and sometimes even 14-hour shifts. I never expected that I would be treated like this in Australia. I did not think I would get treated unfairly especially while I’m pregnant. I’m fighting for what’s right. I don’t want this to happen to any other woman.
“They made other casuals I worked with over the past year full-time, but when my manager found out I was pregnant, they began ignoring me. Then they took me off the roster.
“This has been very stressful for me. I’ve cried a few times. Now all I can do is stay at home. Everything is expensive, and everything is more expensive when you’re expecting a baby, and I cannot help.”
United Workers Union, the union for food manufacturing workers, alleges that Davies Bakery has a track record of mistreating their workers, who are predominately from migrant backgrounds.
United Workers Union spokesperson Pareen Minhas says, “the bullying and harassment of workers by Davies Bakery is some of the worst we’ve ever seen, and their treatment of Rajdeep is a new low.
“United Workers members are standing together today in solidarity with Davies Bakery workers. This serves as yet another example of how companies will use fear and intimidation tactics towards workers.
“Casual workers are some of the most vulnerable workers in our industries. Workers need strong unions to ensure companies cannot get away with discrimination and strong laws to protect casual workers and hold employers like Davies Bakery to account.”
The bakery, which makes bread, hot cross buns and other baked goods for ALDI, Woolworths and Coles to sell in Victoria is 50 per cent owned by the pie maker, Patties Foods. Patties were bought by private equity giant Pacific Equity Partners in 2016.