Employees at Cobden's CopRice mill will stop work on Tuesday and Wednesday in a bid for better pay and to retain conditions.
They are some of the 330 food workers from CopRice, SunRice and Australian Grain Storage who will strike across Victoria and New South Wales.
CopRice is the animal food division of Ricegrowers Ltd which trades as SunRice, one of the world's largest rice food companies and branded food exporters.
CopRice manufactures extruded and pelleted feeds for domestic and farm animals at Cobden, Tongala and Leeton mills.
United Workers Union (UWU) food and beverage lead Tom Czech said members had been bargaining for a new agreement for eight months, seeking a "decent" pay increase over four years and improved job security without "trading away" current conditions.
He said the strike would impact retail supply and lead to product shortages as employees stopped work, further adding to existing COVID-related staff and product shortages.
"Workers are deeply concerned to see SunRice attempt to remove important conditions," Mr Czech said. "This included removing leave from the agreement for volunteer firefighters and domestic violence victims, and time to donate blood."
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He said the company was having bumper seasons, with bumper profits, "but offering workers a far worse deal".
"Through the pandemic, workers have been expected to do countless overtime to cover for staffing shortages and to process bumper harvests," Mr Czech said.
"As essential workers, they have kept supermarket shelves stocked with staple goods for communities around the country."
A SunRice spokeswoman urged the UWU to "cease misrepresenting SunRice's proposed offer to employees", to return to negotiations and call off the "damaging" protected industrial action.
She said it was attempting to disrupt operations at a time when the company was processing its largest rice crop in a number of years and facing COVID-19 supply chain pressures.
She said employees and the union had been advised existing leave provisions would remain in the proposed agreement and "the intention was never to remove these conditions" with employees entitled to the provisions under SunRice's leave policy.
She said SunRice had "faced a number of headwinds" and its 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, but continued to award its employees annual pay increases, "without seeking any changes to conditions under the existing enterprise agreement".
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