Melbourne gourmet food manufacturer at centre of bullying allegations under investigation by FWO since August
Monday, October 8, 2012/
The Melbourne company at the centre of a workplace bullying controversy has been under investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman for some time, it has been revealed.
The Fair Work Ombudsman confirmed yesterday that Glendal Foods, which is operated by Kanodia Nominees, has been under investigation for workplace bullying following complaints made by an employee in August.
Kanodia Nominees was contacted this morning, but a reply was not available before publication.
The company was thrust into the spotlight yesterday after employees came forward with allegations the company, which provides food for companies including IKEA and Costco, had bullied several employees.
Eighteen staff, mostly migrant workers, said the bullying had occurred for six years. Allegations included that managers had regularly screamed orders at staff, made sexual comments towards them, and said they must give 48 hours’ notice if they wanted to take sick leave.
Allegations were also made that casual workers were told they must buy lunch for the whole workplace when they become full-time employees.
Now, the Fair Work Ombudsman has confirmed the company was already under investigation on allegations of underpayments, and a reduction in work hours without notice.
But after the initial report in Fairfax, the FWO has now submitted the case to its serious non-compliance team.
“The Fair Work Ombudsman wishes to make it clear that the agency will view very seriously any allegations raised with it that an employee has been discriminated against because they made a complaint or inquired about their workplace conditions.”
“The Fair Work Ombudsman’s investigation will explore the allegations raised by the National Union of Workers on behalf of more than 20 employees, particularly those alleging coercion and undue influence over employees to accept deductions from their wages and/or reduced working hours.”
Businesses can face fines of $33,000 per breach if found guilty of taking adverse action against employees who ask about entitlements, the FWO said.
The FWO also said allegations raised about the initial complaint have been forwarded to WorkSafe Victoria.
Glendal Foods calls itself a gourmet food manufacturing company, founded in 1983 to service hotels, restaurants and catering companies.