Sacked workers reinstated after protest

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Sacked workers reinstated after protest

By Tom Flanagan

SYDNEY — After lively protest actions at Woolworth stores, involving building workers and other unionists, students, activists and parliamentarians, around 30 workers sacked by Metro Shopfitting have been offered re-employment.

The terms of the settlement negotiated with the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union included the offer of re-employment, reinstatement of the union's enterprise bargaining agreement and the sacking of the body-hire agency.

The CFMEU organised the protests after the sacked workers were replaced by casual workers employed by a body-hire agency on lower rates of pay. The action included the picketing of Woolworth's George Street store, with contingents of placard waving protesters walking through the store making their demands known to shoppers.

CFMEU NSW construction division secretary Andrew Ferguson pointed out that the victory demonstrates the value of decisive union action. "It also shows the value of combined worker and student activity, and the union is very appreciative of all the people who joined our demonstrations", Ferguson said.