Why are some Biteriot employees paid $70 per day, and other Biteriot workers working 27.5 hours day, 192 hours per week? What is the right level of employee remuneration / incentive in a pandemic, what can other farmers learn from
Nuffield Scholar, Fiona Hall and master motivator Claudio Brown? Whine or wine?
Fiona Hall of Biteriot recently complained about the local workforce in Orange, NSW saying:
the inability of overseas backpackers … had led to staff shortages … they employed university and high school students …
good locals, but we [also] had some some locals who did one day on, one day off [lacking] consistency,” ….
said the government’s COVID-relief payments had not helped with the staff shortages.
“It wasn’t an incentive for people to go out and pick cherries,” she said.
What is really going on at Biteriot?
The writer wonders, given chief fruit picker
Fiona Hall is involved in the phoenixing of 4 Bonny Glen companies in liquidation with DW Advisory – does Fiona feel her companies have paid sufficient tax to warrant the Government providing some kind of fruit growers exemption from the Covid relief package?
The writer also wonders what has changed?
At one stage,
Biteriot had no trouble getting unemployed local teenagers to work picking fruit. A case in point is the worker known as Claudio Brown.
Claudio’s payslip – Biteriot
Once upon a time
Biteriot employed Claudio who, whilst still a minor, worked a total of 27.5hrs a day.
The writer observes that
Claudio Brown paid no tax (perhaps the kind of incentive Fiona has in mind?)
Fiona wants to employ motivated staff like Claudio Brown???
The writer wonders why Fiona, an alleged
Nuffield Scholar, doesn’t re-employ Claudio as a mentor to help “some locals” (as Fiona refers to them) lacking motivation…. Claudio works 27.5 hours per day. Does Biteriot expect too much of locals?
Perhaps Mrs Hall, before criticising Orange locals,
apart from employing Claudio Brown as a mentor, should she also perhaps consider a report from the employees perspective in today’s ABC (online)?
Extracted from a story on ABC – source:
The ABC article discusses potential motivational topics for
Claudio Brown to coach SOME locals on: What fruitpickers say (ABC):
Nineteen-year-old Matthew Rolston bought a bus ticket … had the full backpacker experience — even staying in a hostel.
His first ever fruit-picking job was “actually rather enjoyable”
“I kind of went through half a bottle of water, realised there was nowhere to fill it up and had to ration half a bottle of water for the rest of the day,” he said. …
Hostels cost more than wages earned
Things on the farm ended “rather sourly” for Mr Rolston when his wages for six 10-hour working days came through — three weeks after he first started.
Luka said he made $280 in six days picking fruit.(Supplied)
“And then, when we did end up getting paid, we didn’t get the full amount,” he said.
“I was supposed to earn around $550,
I ended up getting $450.
“There was no way that we’d be making over a $1,000.”
His friend Luka Wighton, who also worked on the farm, said he had gone along hoping for “a bit of an adventure” — but ended up feeling “a little bit taken advantage of”.
“It was exhausting work … I mean, I’d be fine with it, if it was more pay, but we were kind of at a loss,” he said.
His $280 wage — paid on piece-rate agreement — meant he paid more for his accommodation at the hostel than he earned, as did Mr Rolston.
“I didn’t expect to make much money, but I thought I’d go back with a little bit of a profit,” Mr Wighton said.
Chloe said she gets paid hourly and that her rate was about $14.
Jodie* was hesitant to share her tale of rejection under her real name … At times she said felt employers “danced around” the wage topic, tried to make the job sound “as unappealing as possible” or made “unreasonable” requests.
She said she was starting to think some farmers might prefer migrant workers to Australians because they would be less likely to complain about small wages.
“I feel like they don’t have the same sort of legal requirements around wages,” she said.
“I know a lot of them live on site and [employers] charge them accommodation and all that sort of stuff.”
What Biteriot employees are paid (SBS):
The writer observes Fiona Hall’s worker told SBS he was paid about $70 per day!
Biteriot – backpacker pay rates – $70 per day …. …. see video @15m, 10seconds
https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1745497667922/dateline-pandemic-farming-apples-and-oranges?action=play …. see video @15m, 10seconds
This is sharply different to the wage of under 18 year old local fruitpicker known as
Claudio Brown – earning sometime $4800 per week (tax free) working 27.5 hours a day.
Despite the writer having an MBA, the writer would need to draw upon the
expertise of Nuffield Scholar Fiona Hall to know which is the appropriate level of pay and incentive and what government incentives (or dis-incentives) should apply?
Claudio’s payslip – Biteriot
The writer is unsure whether the below staff are working 27.5 hours per day or on a more conventional $70 per day pay rate?
The writer notes however the following independent review on Biteriot via google:
Want to know more? Like to enrol in a Claudio Brown motivational course? Like to get better productivity from your picking team?
Would you like to tell us confidentially about your experiences?
Are you interested to join the Caernarvon / Biteriot Employee Wage Theft class action?
Do you know Claudio Brown?
Do you know if this is the voice of
is this the voice of Claudio Brown? #whoisclaudiobrown
Do you have information on
government incentives Biteriot should get to subsidise its workforce?
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