Australian Workers' Union (AWU) members from various Alcoa refinery plants in Western Australia have been on strike since August 8, following a breakdown in enterprise bargaining agreement negotiations between the union and management.
AWU members started the strike with a rally of 1200 people at a sporting ground in the town of Pinjarra, 86 kilometres south of Perth, on August 8. Since then there have been daily picket lines outside Alcoa plants in Pinjarra, Kwinana, Wagerup, Huntley and Willowdale.
On August 22, about 1200 people chanting “the rules are broken, change the rules” rallied in support of the workers in Solidarity Park, West Perth.
AWU WA state secretary Mike Zoetbrood told the protest that the union had offered the company numerous concessions, but the company refused to accept their offers. Given this, he said, the AWU members had no choice but to strike.
“Workers will not accept an agreement that offers them zero in the way of job security. Our members only want what is fair and reasonable, a fair and good job", Zoetbrood said. “Members won’t accept the company using the threat of termination as a means of pressuring the workforce into accepting sub-par working conditions.”
Officials from other trade unions and WA Labor state MPs also addressed the protest.
The AWU is currently maintaining 24-hour picket lines at all Alcoa work sites.