A farmer from drought-stricken NSW Australia has taken to social media and gone viral in the process, after posting a video of himself discussing poor milk prices in the country.
Dairy farmer, Shane Hickey, posted the video on his personal Facebook account early last week and since been posted the video has already clocked up in excess of 3.5million views. The farmer used the video to explain his recent struggles, where after receiving his most recent milk cheque he calculated his hourly earnings to be a measly $2.46 per hour (€1.43).
“I would like to do a personal shoutout to our supermarkets, Woolworths, Coles...I just received my milk cheque for this month...I worked this month for $2.46 per hour”, said the farmer.
“Something has got to change...People can’t expect farmers to continue to work for nothing.”, he continued.
The farmer then compared the small hourly rate to that of slavery, noting that it is well below the minimum wage of $18.93 per hour.
“That is basically slavery.” noted the farmer.
The farmer continued by highlighting the detrimental effects to the rest of the farm these prices are having.
“I am not irrigating at the moment, because my irrigator is broken.”, said Shane.
“I have to work within a budget and there is no money in the budget (to fix it). So, I just have to try and do it myself and try to get it going”, he explained.
The farmer says the retailers look set to continue taking advantage of farmers, though admitted if the drought continues, he does not know where they will get their dairy supplies from.
“If the drought keeps up I don’t know where they are going to get it (milk) from, because it is not coming from here. Our production is down by 50% to this time last year”, said Mr. Hickey.
The farmer then concluded by questioning how he is to maintain a dairy farm and family of three on such a wage, while employers within the aforementioned retailing outfits earn more per hour than farmers do.
“$2.46 and I am expected to pay my mortgage and take care of my three kids”, he concluded.
Video Credit - Shane Hickey.