Australia has had its fair share of strikes in recent years, but farmers are demanding a much bigger wage hike in their sector.
It’s a growing movement across the country that has taken on an increasingly harsh tone following an industry-wide strike last year, and many farmers are now demanding an annual income boost.
“This is a really serious situation, it’s affecting our whole industry and the quality of our work and the health of our farmers,” said John Bercow, the minister for agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
A strike in NSW last year saw hundreds of workers go on strike, forcing the state’s government to cancel the state election.
The NSW Farmers’ Union said it has been the target of a “huge amount of intimidation and harassment” over the past year, with a strike planned for late February in the state.
However, Mr Bercows comments came just days after the state government suspended the operation of the NSW Agricultural Health Authority, which is the state body responsible for monitoring the health and safety of agricultural workers.
Farmers in Queensland are demanding an additional $100 a day for working the land, after a strike earlier this year.
Mr Bercos comments came after the NSW Government had announced it would increase the hourly rate for agricultural workers by 25 cents, after negotiations failed.
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