National Farmers' Federation

AWU’s self-serving, shameful ploy to harvest farm workers’ personal information

Farm workers won’t benefit one iota from the Australian Workers Union’s latest stunt to get headlines and lure members.

The AWU’s so-called ‘Piece Rates calculator’ is actually an old-fashioned online form to harvest personal information to be used for membership drives and mailing lists. The ‘calculator’ doesn’t even bother to collect basic information required to determine the accuracy of the take-home pay, such as the worker’s classification, the amount they picked, any allowances they are owed, or even the piece rate.

“It’s more interested in collecting emails addresses and phone numbers,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.

“The farm workforce used to be a pillar of the AWU membership. Predictably workers have long since realised the cost of AWU membership compared to the value delivered, amounts to nothing short of a rip off.”

The NFF continues to call out the complexity of Australia’s industrial relations system and its failure to serve both the interests of employers and employees.

“The ‘calculator’ being pedaled by the AWU does nothing to help address the challenge and should be called out for what it is: a poorly-masked membership drive,” Mr Mahar said.

“The NFF supports trusted ways to help navigate the cumbersome system. The obvious way is via the Fair Work Ombudsman’s range of tools farmers and farm workers can apply to better understand their rights and obligations.

“The NFF encourages all farm workers use these tools and report any instances of underpayment to the FWO. Any and all farm businesses underpaying or exploiting workers must be called out and held to account.

“Unfortunately workers providing their email address and pay slips to the AWU via the ‘calculator’ will no doubt result in nothing more than annoying spam emails targeting their hard-earned in exchange for a miserable membership,” Mr Mahar said.

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