25 Jan 2006, 05:04:48 PM

Reporter: Natalie Bonjolo

Rain, hail, or shine...workers count on Tammy Simons to deliver smoko to their door, in a Jiffy...Jiffy trucks have been doing lunch rounds in Perth suburbs for decades, Tammy's one of dozens of drivers affectionately dubbed the 'jiffy chicks'.

According to Tammy there's big bucks to be made selling sanga's...how does seventy thousand dollars a year sound? Tammy say it's money for jam. well paid, weekends off, eight hours a day...yet dozens of jiffy vans are off the road, because no-one will drive them. She says "i think years ago jiffy had a stigma a big stigma, but all that's changed."

John Barnett says "I think generally they prefer to stay on Centrelink than drive for Jiffy foods." Jiffy boss John Barnett's desperately looking for drivers, and blokes 'are' welcome. the trouble is John reckons they'de rather be on the dole, than be a jiffy-john. He says "95% of the people who phone in are too proud to take the work even though it's on offer"

It's honest work, so John can't understand why men are too macho to make the morning tea run. John says "I think people have this stigma about it being female and not male when obviously either can drive blokes drive courier trucks blokes drive buses all sorts of trucks, jiffy is a truck but selling food, no different" With unemployment at an all time low, the Chamber of Commerce's Chief Economist John Nicolaou says it's no wonder workers are picky

John Nicolaou says "people will go to jobs that are most attractive and offer best conditions unfortunately somejobs will struggle to find staff" The State's unprecedented resource boom means workers are applying for well paying jobs in the mining and construction industries, leaving businesses like Jiffy short of staff "With the Jiffy scenario they are paying a fair wage but mayby needs to look at other strategies" John Nicolaou says.

John Barnett says "we've now taken it upon ourselves to advertise in other states and NZ as well as offered to pay their flights to come here" That's right. John's been forced to lure jiffy drivers from interstate and overseas, even offering to pay eight hundred dollars towards the airfare. John says "the opportunites are endless $70 000 with one truck you could take a second or a third truck."

Even so, John suspects there's more people looking for a free lunch...than those wanting to 'earn' a living, by delivering it."i think there's a lot of people out there claiming to be looking for work, but when it comes too it, they don't want it"

Tammy says there's no reason blokes can't give the jiffy chicks a run for their money, unless they're not man enough to handle a van.



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