NSW fruitpicking farm owner odd rules criticise on Facebook

By @mik_mapa on
A blueberry picker picks fruit at Lohas Farms in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada on July 3, 2016. Reuters/Julie Gordon

A former worker of a popular NSW fruitpicking farm posted a bizarre set of rules on a Sydney backpacker Facebook group which slammed a farm owner. The list of rules posted was nearly 20 years old but it has since been deleted in the group. The rules required workers to work fast at all times and rejected people who suffered depression. It also indicated that cry babies were not welcome. 

Facebook users were outraged on the rules leading them to give their comments. “Bunch of redneck bastards!”  and  “F--- me, better treatment at the Shawshank,” are among the statements users commented. “Only thing that’s missing is 'must be a robot',” a commenter's reaction quoted by News.com.au. “Just make ya laugh that someone actually though all that up,” another commenter said.

The rules described workers that should and should not work on the farm. One term used is “whinger,” meaning to whine, moan, complain, whimper, go on about, bleat, bellyache and gripe. The term was used to address workers who had the attitude along with cry babies and slow movers. The farm's rule noted that the workers were not kindergarten and rough work or laziness was not tolerated. They were expected to do a perfect job. The workers were also warned not to bring their mobile phone in the workplace without permission to avoid termination.      

The farm owner confirmed to News.com.au that the rule is true but it was written years back. The owner said that during the time the rule was written, the farm had a lot of problems with people who started working in the farm ending in whining and complaining. She said that the rules were not current and she had never had any issues with Fair Work. She added that the farm currently has 60 people, where the main core of workers were Indians and other non-English speaking people.

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