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Twelve women working on farms in Australia, known as the Perfection 12, are bringing one of the largest sexual harassment cases to the Federal Court and will attend court for mediation this Friday in Adelaide for the first time.

With suppression orders in place to protect the identity of the women, supporters will gather across from the court building to show their solidarity and send a message to Perfection Fresh that union members and the community are committed to fighting this campaign until the company agrees to better workplace and human rights for all workers in Perfection Fresh’s glasshouses.

Roses will be left at the courthouse to represent the album of songs that the women have recorded as part of their struggle for justice. The lead song for the album is a rewritten version of the historical Bread and Roses, which dates back to the early 1900s out of the suffragette movement for equal rights and the militant textile strike in Massachusetts in 1912. Led by members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union, the Bread and Roses strike as it became known, was won by a diverse, migrant workforce who were predominantly women.

UWU Farm Sector Director Caterina Cinanni is working on the case with the Perfection 12 women and is a spokesperson for the campaign.  

“We will always stand in solidarity with women that speak out against gendered violence. That’s why we are turning out today. Many people around the country and globally are speaking out in support for the Perfection 12. This is a struggle for all of us”, Ms Cinanni said.

Perfection Fresh’s Two Wells glasshouses cover football field sized tracks of land and operate all year round. There are 800 workers at the glasshouses in South Australia and only 200 of them have secure jobs or guaranteed hours.

“Job security and the right to speak up and support each other in this environment are key factors at eliminating sexual harassment and gendered workplace violence,” Ms Cinanni said.

“The ‘Perfection 12’ are fighting for job security, improved union rights and safety because they want these changes for all workers that pick and pack the fruit and vegetables for Coles and Woolworths – and for workers everywhere.”

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