March 2019 | Freedom Foods accused of underpaying, exploiting migrant workers in Shepparton dairy

Date: 14 March 2019

Source: ABC

Migrant workers employed by one of Australia's major dairy producers, Freedom Foods, are performing tasks not covered under the skilled worker visa scheme, and are being severely underpaid, a union claims.

The National Union of Workers (NUW) said as many as 57 workers on 457 and 482 visas have been employed as mechanical engineers by Freedom Foods' Shepparton factory, in northern Victoria, since 2016.

The union alleges the workers are not working as mechanical engineers, and are instead doing other jobs on the factory floor.

NUW Victorian leader Neil Smith said these workers, who hail from the Philippines, were being paid about $24 an hour — about 25 per cent less than their local peers — which is "well below the industry standard".