For two weeks “Nothing in, Nothing out” was the mantra on the picket as the trucks were turned away at the Coles warehouse in Somerton, Melbourne. Angered by the fact that workers for Coles warehouses in other states were receiving better working conditions, even though they were doing the same job, the National Union of Workers (NUW) members at the Coles Somerton warehouse took action. Coles owns the warehouse, but management is outsourced to Toll Logistics. Workers are paid below industry standards despite both companies making obscene profits.
A six week-long battle at Swift Australia Meatworks in Brooklyn, Melbourne, has ended with 140 National Union of Workers (NUW) members keeping conditions that were lost by the plant’s 500 other employees two years ago. Swift Australia locked out the picketers in early December after they took protected industrial action in the course of their enterprise bargaining negotiations. The strikers are mostly of migrant backgrounds, from all corners of the globe. Some are recently arrived refugees.