Streets Ice Cream Boycott

In case you hadn't heard, Australian Unions (and the AMWU in particular) are calling for a boycott of Streets Ice Cream this summer.
Apparently the Enterprise Agreement Streets had with their workers was paying them 46% above the award - and Streets wants to terminate the Agreement and revert to the award rate.

I want to know, will you be supporting the boycott?

(In other words, will you cheapness override your sympathy for workers getting a big pay-cut?).

Poll Options

  • 183
    Yes
  • 548
    No
  • 70
    Only if they reduce the price of ice cream by 46%

Related Stores

Streets Ice Cream
Streets Ice Cream

Comments

  •  

    Nothing wrong with Australian jobs and investment. #reverseboycott #oneicecreamatatime

  • +19 votes

    I can't live without gaytimes of all kinds sorry.

  • +70 votes

    (In other words, will you cheapness override your sympathy for workers getting a big pay-cut?).

    they were getting paid above award wages, and nobody is forcing them to work for this company. if they don't like the new setup, they can go get a job somewhere else.

    46% above the award

    I bet there is one person somewhere which will lose 46%, the rest won't. nobody fact checks any reporting these days

    • +74 votes

      You know Unions. Pushing wages so high manufacturers jump over to China.

      • +16 votes

        But if your own wages are high, that's different?

        • +6 votes

          Unions in general. Others have explained the reasoning why the Unions are screwing Streets up below.

        • +29 votes

          Others have explained the reasoning why the Unions are screwing Streets up below

          The unions are asking that Streets should stick to the agreement that Streets made with the workers.

          Streets is trying to screw the workers by asking for that agreement to be set aside so they can pay the workers half what Streets agreed to before.

        • +16 votes

          @pjetson: You've missed my point completely. I didn't mention Streets and I'm not against Unions. I'm referring to the greater problem where we keep pushing for higher wages above award rates where being profitable becomes harder and harder, so companies move offshore.

        • +9 votes

          @Clear: in many industries award rates are very low. Plus companies can afford to increase their employees salaries and still make a lot of profit.

        • +5 votes

          @POWER1: And in many they don't. Pushing higher wages certainly don't keep them staying here for any longer.

        • -5 votes

          @Clear: I belief the average Salary in Australia shouldn't be below 60K. The award rate it too low to survive on.

        • +1 vote

          @POWER1: I agree with you about the average income, but it's possible to survive off award rates depending on your circumstances. If I was married, had kids and wanted to own/rent a house in Sydney I'd definitely want to be on higher than my award rate.

          Since I'm not I'm able to afford to keep myself living comfortably on the award rate with the possibility of owning my own home without a large mortgage.

        • +8 votes

          @Clear: And to be more clear. I'm not saying everyone should be paid at award rates. I'm saying the constant push for workers to be paid more and more is what's driving our jobs offshore. This should be obvious.

        • +18 votes

          @Clear: But they aren't pushing for higher wages, they are trying to stop a paycut.

          Will you take a paycut?

          Unilever the owner of Streets made a 22% net profit increase in the first quarter compared with last year and made over 7 billion euros in profit in 2016.

          And you are advocating for the company.

          disgraceful.

        • +13 votes

          @simonjb:

          Its funny how people seem to think the award wages and the people on the low wage jobs are the guilty party. The actual problem is the level of made up management roles especially in middle and upper management but also the amount of money they get paid for their roles which is incredibly high for really what they do. And that is money being taken from the rest of the employees and companies…

          I remember when they compared Singapore Airlines and Qantas (both airlines are comparative in terms of size and monetary value but management in Qantas seemed to get paid double or more than what they got paid in Singapore Airlines), or even when you compare the CEO of Australia post vs United States Postal Services which was much larger and the top job was a lot lower paid…..

          I see this all the time now where i work In a unversity. There are less and less jobs where people are doing the work but a lot more made up roles of management type titles which never existed before where they act as middle men or go to meetings etc. And they get paid a lot more than the actual contributors / workers in the university.

        •  

          @simonjb:

          You've missed my point completely. I didn't mention Streets and I'm not against Unions.

          You haven't even read what I'm saying. I'm not talking about Streets. I'm saying in general us pushing for higher wages is why manufacturing is going offshore. The problem starts with the management and extends down. Is this not happening?

        • +3 votes

          @lonewolf:
          I think a large reason is the supermarket wars and the Aldi effect. Streets blue ribbon ice cream used to be $6+, occasionally on special at $5. Supermarket wars now have it at $4.90 everyday price or whatever. There is a lot of squeeze coming from Coles and Woolies. Even a massive company like Arnott's gets pushed around to drop the standard price from $2.50 down to everyday $2. The ingredients aren't getting much cheaper, transport is the same or more. That's why some products get slightly downsized due to already low margin tweaking.

        •  

          @simonjb:

          Their market cap of US$167.3B means their $7B euro (US$9.12B, both before tax) is a stunning 5.45% return to shareholders……

          If noone pushed for higher wages (like everyone does every year) everyone would get paid the award?

          I am advocating for the company trying to remain competitive.
          Do you know the ROI of the Australian icecream arm? If its negative or less than inflation with no upshot, those jobs are going overseas if we keep the status quo. I'm not saying thats the case, its just one reason they may be pushing to remove costs from the business.

          I love their icecreams and will continue buying them. Not buying them will only further erode the business that MAY already be under pressure….. :)

        • +3 votes

          @Clear:

          I read it. you didn't mention streets but that is the topic.

          You cant claim they are pushing for a pay rise when the fight is about a pay cut.

        •  

          @simonjb: The topic of this post is Streets, but my comment was in general and I mentioned that specifically in the chain. You've taken what I've said and twisted it. Completely different.

        • +2 votes

          @simonjb:

          If a company can’t make profit, it won’t exist. Global profits don’t reflect profits of their Australian operation.

          If their Australian operation isn’t profitable, they’ll just manufacture offshore and ship it here.

        •  

          @lonewolf:

          Agree completely alot of made up management positions where money is being thrown down the drain. Also i used to work as a chef and the wastage i encountered in most business was enormous effecting their bottom line but most management seem inept to handle it and then they instead focus on cutting wages as its a quick fix and results can be seen pretty immediate. I would compare it to applying a bandaid to a gun shot wound.

        •  

          @LlamaOfDoom:
          Yeah there are plenty of moving parts. I'm not interested in them particularly.
          If companies erode wages of Australians to increase profits of Australian sold products that benefit overseas interests and you advocate that eventually it will be a disaster here and good luck to you.

        •  

          @pjetson: Math fail? Say the award was 100, then 46% above it would be 146. If they then dropped to the award rate of 100 again it would be (46/146*100) = a 31.5% cut. Still massive, but hot half, not (quite) even a third off.

          I have no idea whether the workers were paid poorly or well at 146% of the award rate, and a 31.5% pay cut sucks, but you've got to get the numbers right at least.

        • +2 votes

          The public service is like this. Contractors do the rel work, while the bureaucrats get paid a fortune to occasionally shuffle papers and tap on keyboards. Of course, all civil servants are highly unioned, and are all fanatical ALP supporters.

          We pay with this deliberate and massive inefficiency with large taxes and reducions public services/infrastructures/health care. We ought to outsouce as many government clerical roles as possible.

        •  

          @Clear: who forgot this quote for holden. "“We talk about industrial disputation, but this should be two groups working towards the same end: ­survival." Unions done good with holden

          Read more: http://www.afr.com/business/transport/automobile/unions-reje...

        • +1 vote

          @Thaal Sinestro: it's the contractors getting paid a fortune. They get like $120/hour, while an APS doing a similar job might get $70,000/yr. Meanwhile, contractors move teams and agencies often, so the knowledge they gain gets lost and new people have to spend a month or so getting up to speed and not being really productive. And, each branch has a max APS staffing level, so they're not even allowed to hire permanents, so have to get more contractors in to get the work done, which costs WAY more than just having permanents, considering they leave at the end of a project and then next project new contractors have to be trained up. It is really bad having a high percentage of contractors!!

      • +1 vote

        Once it's manufactured in China you wouldn't want to consume anymore

      • +3 votes

        This is the same excuse people used to try and continue slavery.

        • +1 vote

          Don't get your pants in a bunch but if they can lose half their pay they are prob getting to much lol.. no one else seems to see it this way though…

    •  

      You're right about checking the facts. I wonder if anyone has read anything about this issue?

      It is not Streets' proposal to cut wages by 46% and carry on. That is the worst case option as Streets believes that unions/workers won't negotiate on other issues that Streets consider to be important for its future sustainability, aka the 'nuclear option'.

      As always, there are complexities in collective bargaining, and a lot of the sticking points are always much broader than salary.

      Ironically, the Union and Streets came to an agreement on this issue… which was voted down by staff, hence Streets feel they have limited other options.

    •  

      You do realise that calling out the lack of fact checking, without having the actual facts, is in fact a pretty stupid thing to do.

  • +25 votes

    whenever I see headlines like these, I often wonder where the truth lies.
    I am by no means an internet sleuth, but 10 minutes found the below, please feel free to chime in with corrections.

    I found the 2013-5 agreement;
    https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/agreements/fwa/ae...
    includes rates of pay (page 25) up to year beginning 1st September 2015. lowest rate appears for 2015/2016 year is $67000 or roughly $34/hr (using 38 hr wk and 52 wks a year for simplicity).

    award rate is what?
    if I found the right one;
    https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/documents/modern_awards/awa...
    it appears to be lowest rate of $18.29/hr - approx. $37 pa

    so yeah, IF (BIG IF) I have found the two correct docs, then there might be a big pay drop involved ($16 drop from $34 equates to 47% so maybe I have found the correct ones).

    THEN, if all that is correct, the next thing to consider is if they are currently paid too low/OK/too high for the work they do? each to their own opinion on that one and no one likes to lose anything. pay freezes aren't that uncommon to save jobs though…..

    • +36 votes

      $67,000? Seriously?

      I have a medical degree and I have a contract for $66,000 before tax next year working as a doctor.
      I guarantee you that I'll have more than 38 hours a week too.

      • -6 votes

        Well you signed a contract for that much and were happy with it. Today most average salaries are going up from 55K towards 65K.

        • +22 votes

          It's not negotiable. Either the public hospital JMO award or no job.

        • +6 votes

          @Save Medicare: If you are working as a doctor, I presume that is what you started on? Because all the doctors i know ( most of my friends are doctors), earn way way more than that, in both the public and private sector

        • +5 votes

          @Save Medicare:

          JMO or HMO is slavery every junior doctor needs to go through. Working 72 hrs a week is a usual practice. Be strong, it will end :)

      • +1 vote

        Is that for pgy1 or what? If you're a jmo that makes sense. But any doctor that has gone through their post grad training will easily double that working half that time

      •  

        Then go on strike too. We'll support you too until we become management. Workers need to support each other!

      • +2 votes

        Thank goodness there are unions or you might be on less than $50,000.

      • -3 votes

        So push for your wages to be more fair, not theirs to become below standard of living. I have no sympathy whatsoever for you due to your attitude.

      • +6 votes

        $66k is just a graduate salary. It will be much more when you can work for yourself.

        You know who I feel sorry for? Pharmacists.

        I was shocked when I found out the salaries of fully qualified Pharmacists.

      • +4 votes

        That's a JMO wage, i.e you're a doctor but only 1-2 years out of medical school and need a lot of supervision.

        That $67k in that contract may be for someone with years of experience.

      • +3 votes

        Cry me a river in 15 years time….

      •  

        Could be worse. Most graduate lawyers (if they even secure a job) not working in mid to top-tier metropolitan firms will effectively earn below minimum wage for the first year or two: 50-60hr weeks on $50k per annum. All that for 5-7 years of 50hr study weeks at a top university and $50-$100k student debt. Wage growth is slow also, unlike in the medical profession.

      • +4 votes

        Sounds like you need a union.

      • +1 vote

        Presumably you're new, because Australia is way up the top in the global "how much do doctors get paid" stakes. The 66k pittance for long hours will pass. The long hours probably won't, but you'll end up well paid for it.

        https://medicfootprints.org/10-highest-paid-countries-world-...

      • +4 votes

        That's pretty ignorant, that 67k is the high point of their career, you're just starting out

      •  

        If you wanted more money then there are lots of opportunities to do FIFO or rural work - these pay in the thousands of dollars per day range.

      •  

        but eventually as you gain experience, and because of the investment of time and training you put in, provide you can do your job proficiently your value will go up, and more and more people will demand your service, and you can then renegotiate, work elsewhere, or start your own-practice? (the greatness of capitalism and supply and demand)

    • +4 votes

      $37k pa is simply not a living wage in much of the country anymore. The awards are chronically outdated unless the expectation is everyone is to be living in council housing and on food stamps.

      • +1 vote

        you do realise when minimum wages go up, the retailers / suppliers realise people have a bit more money so the costs goes up as well, making the minimum wage "not a living wage"?

  • +36 votes

    I buy ice cream based on specials and sales and lowest unit price unless I know someone personally who was affected or have been in that situation before which I have not.

    I am not rich enough to make some decisions based on feelings and emotions yet gotta save dat money yo

  • +9 votes

    I started the boycott when maxibons hit $3.30 a piece at the servo.

    (theyre peters, but i cant tell who is who in the world of ice cream).

    I cant consider this streets boycott with the wage cut unless i actually saw the numbers. Would be good to see the top end hit with a wage cut too if this is to be considered.

  • +62 votes

    wait, people get paid to work at an ice-cream factory?!!!

  • +15 votes

    Good ole Unions… fight for the workplace agreements to become the norm, don't say anything when people are paid above award, but have an issue when they get paid the award rate. So in their eyes, apparently award rate isn't good enough.

    Not that they really care, they're all paid to do this shit by their members.

    • +6 votes

      Forgetting the part where unions shaft their own workers. Some of the big ones have the habit of not paying super correctly, making staff reapply for their own jobs, making them redundant and immediately putting someone else in their place etc etc.

      • +4 votes

        I recall during a round of EBA negotiations when the union workers threatened to take the union to court because the union were adamant in pushing for a condition the company obviously couldn't afford (think being paid to commute from home level of stupidity). The workers knew it, didn't want it, delegates fed back to the union, and union STFU we're doing it anyway and will take you to court if you don't agree. It was to set an industry precedent so they could springboard it into a larger company.

        Union backed down then management offered to pay for legal counsel of the workers choice.

      • +1 vote

        Some of the big ones have the habit of not paying super correctly, making staff reapply for their own jobs, making them redundant and immediately putting someone else in their place etc etc.

        Just like some employers, Clear…

        • +1 vote

          Yes, but that's not my point. I'm saying all the things Unions preach against are the exact things some of them do.

        • +1 vote

          So, you're saying that we don't need to worry about employers doing all that stuff, buy when dirty rotten unions do it…

        • +3 votes

          @pjetson: Again missing the point. Certain Unions are the biggest hypocrites when it comes to worker's rights. They fck over their own workers as bad as the employers of their members. Not something people would normally expect to happen.

        • +2 votes

          @Clear: That may happen, but they exist because employers cannot be trusted and from my experience, unions have helped me out a lot more than in companies where there were no unions and the employers treated their staff like crap. As well as allowed bullying and all sorts of illegal behaviour. HR used to be neutral but not anymore, they are totally on the employers side. Unions are necessary to even it out.

        • +1 vote

          @lonewolf: 10000% correct. I work in the medical industry and that's unionised more than most other industries. I'm just saying Unions treat their own employees bad which is not something you'd expect considering what they do.

          It's like the local fire brigade starting fires intentionally.

        • -1 vote

          @Clear:

          It comes across that everyone that disagrees with you or shows you your inaccuracies or generalisations is 'missing the point'

          I got your weak point.

        • +2 votes

          @simonjb: Unions being a factor in manufacturing going offshore is inaccurate? You're funny. 46 people got my point.

        • -1 vote

          @Clear:
          I agree unions are a factor to that. Where did I disagree? I think you missed the point.

          Btw don't you mean 46 people liked something about one of your posts. Just pointing out another generalization of yours.

    •  

      I like unions because they help workers.

  • +25 votes

    So if I understand correctly… the union wants you to NOT buy the products that the members of their union manufactures?

    Nek minnit… union complains all their members are now jobless, because (for some unknown reason) no-one was buying the company's products anymore and the company has gone into receivership.

    • +3 votes

      They should be pushing a boycott on all ice-cream except streets. Profit soars, workers get a raise.

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