Workers at SunRice, CopRice and Australian Grain Storage (AGS) will be taking drastic action next week.
Staff at Leeton, Coleambally and Deniliquin will join their colleagues around Victoria as they strike on February 1 and 2.
The employees are calling for better working conditions, as well as fighting for secure regional jobs amid the continuing pandemic and its associated challenges related to the food supply chain.
Tom Czech from the United Workers Union, Food and Beverage said the strike action hadn't arisen suddenly.
"United Workers Union members have been bargaining at the table for eight months in good faith, but will not stand for an agreement that rips away conditions," he said.
"These essential food workers are publicly calling on the company to provide a fair wage increase and to back off their agenda to cut conditions.
"Workers are deeply concerned to see SunRice attempt to remove important conditions.
"(These include) removing leave from the agreement for volunteer firefighters and domestic violence victims, as well as time to donate blood.
"Here we have a heartless corporation neglecting their workers and their communities by stripping workers of guaranteed time to contribute and play these vital roles - essentially workers are being asked to fund their own pay rise with the company's proposed cuts to conditions that will have ramifications through the regions."
Staff from SunRice, CopRice and AGS in Leeton and Deniliquin will all strike, as well as those from CopRice branches in Coleambally, Cobden, Tongala and Wangaratta.
Mr Czech said strong communities can only survive when there is secure work and fair pay for jobs.
"Casual workers working shift work at SunRice are, in some circumstances, paid less than they would earn if they were engaged under the modern award," he said.
These essential food workers are publicly calling on the company to provide a fair wage increase and to back off their agenda to cut conditions.- Tom Czech, United Workers Union
"This is disgusting and members across SunRice are calling for the company to pay workers at least the wages they would receive under the award.
"Through the pandemic, workers have been expected to do countless overtime to cover for staffing shortages and to process bumper harvests.
"As essential workers, they have kept supermarket shelves stocked with staple goods for communities around the country."
Meanwhile, SunRice has responded, saying it faced a number of headwinds and the rice pool business had been in a loss-making position due to drought, record low rice production in Australia and supply disruptions caused by COVID-19.
"Despite these challenges, SunRice has been able to maintain employment and skills in our Riverina facilities due to the strength and diversity of our group," a SunRice spokesman said.
"We have also continued to award annual pay increases to our employees across our regional operations, without seeking any changes to conditions under the existing enterprise agreement.
"With the expiry of the previous agreement, SunRice has been bargaining in good faith with the UWU for some months to deliver a new operations enterprise agreement.
"We have presented a proposed operations enterprise agreement offer which includes a competitive pay increase for employees and further opportunities to progress their careers through roles and skills development, which have the potential to lead to further pay increases.
"Through the proposed operations enterprise agreement, SunRice has also sought some more flexible arrangements to ensure we remain competitive on a global scale.Nonetheless, the UWU is determined to pursue protected industrial action when the negotiation process has not been exhausted.
"Despite the significant support we have provided to our regional workforce over the past few years, the UWU is now attempting to cause disruption to SunRice's operations at a time when the company is processing the largest rice crop in a number of years and also facing supply chain pressures due to COVID-19.
"There are no winners from protected industrial action. SunRice is also aware the UWU has recently issued a press release regarding the stop work action and we are extremely concerned that it is seeking to misrepresent SunRice's proposed offer to employees, including making false claims regarding the removal of certain leave provisions."
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