Support grows for locked out workers

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Workers have been locked out of their workplace in Sydney for campaigning for better wages. Photo:

Two Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members addressed Unions NSW on July 17 about their dispute with Ausreo for wage parity with their Victorian counterparts.

Ausreo supplies concrete reinforcing products to the building and construction industry. According to its website, it “takes pride in manufacturing products which meet the highest industry standards and providing superior services and support to match”.

Ausreo has been refusing to sign another contract with the machine operators since the agreement expired in February.

Dennis Ngo, an AMWU delegate, said that 24 workers had been locked out of their workplace for the past five weeks for waging a campaign for better pay.

He said the workers were offered the possibility of a 3% “Christmas bonus” paid at management discretion, with no change to present base rates for the next three years.

Ausreo’s NSW workers are asking for an extra $3 an hour to bring their wages in line with workers in Melbourne doing the same job. Workers in Sydney can earn as little as $20 an hour.

Ngo told the meeting that his family has had to cancel childcare for their two-year-old daughter as they try to survive on his wife’s wages.

Ngo said workers were bearing up well because they were united and had support from AMWU members at other sites.

Affiliates and delegates at the Unions NSW meeting passed the bucket around and raised $310 to help the locked out unionists.

[You can help the locked out workers by donating to the following account AMWU Appeal Account BSB: 082057 Account Number: 188989948, and by visiting the workers at 133-139 Newton Rd, Wetherill Park, NSW.]

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From GLW issue 1018