More than 100 members of unions, aid and development organisations, health, environment and other groups rallied in Sydney on June 15 outside the Federal Parliament's Joint Standing Committee public hearing on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)-11 trade agreement. The rally was organised by the Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network (AFTINET).
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) launched its national boycott campaign against Streets ice cream products on October 29, urging people to “stand up for fairness and commit to a Streets-Free Summer”.
AMWU NSW secretary Steve Murphy said the workers had no choice but to call for a boycott after Streets “hit the nuclear option”.
Multinational giant Unilever, which owns Streets ice cream, has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate an enterprise agreement at its Minto plant in western Sydney. If the workers are forced back on to the award, they would suffer a significant loss in pay and conditions.
The Minto workers, members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), rejected a proposed agreement that would have seen new employees paid less and with worse conditions compared to existing workers.
Dave Oliver announced his resignation as secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions on January 31 after five years in the post. Vice-president Sally McManus is likely to take the role.
The Electrical Workers Union and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union issued the following statement on December 7 after the 55 sacked Carlton and United Brewery maintenance workers at the Abbottsford brewery voted on a resolution to the dispute that started on June 10.
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The ETU and AMWU announced today that they have reached agreement to immediately end the dispute with the maintenance workforce at the Abbotsford brewery in Melbourne, Victoria.
About 40 members of Unions ACT, CPSU, United Voice, retired workers' organisation Vintage Reds, Socialist Alliance and the AMWU and ETU from Melbourne, representing the unions covering the 55 sacked workers from Carlton United Breweries, along with their inflatable anti-mascot, "Scabby the Rat", protested on November 22 on the front lawns of Parliament House.
Workers at the Geelong oil refinery, with the support of community members, maintained a 24-hour picket from October 5 to 11 at four refinery access gates over serious safety concerns at the site. The refinery, previously owned by Shell, has been managed by Viva Energy for the past two years.