Carlton and United Breweries

Just months after an Electrical Trades Union (ETU) victory against Carlton and United Breweries, a much larger battle looms over Melbourne’s industrial landscape. 

In early July, the behemoth Crown Casino laid off its entire electrical workforce. Like the Carlton brewery before it, the casino has tendered an electric gaming contract to the poker machine supplier Amtek. Just three weeks ago Amtek advertised the new casino positions, with wages set at 50% of the old salary.

Production and distribution workers at Carlton & United Breweries' (CUB) Abbotsford plant in Melbourne brought the site to a standstill for three hours on August 25, threatening further action if 55 sacked workers were not reinstated. Two hundred members of United Voice and the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) at the brewery held a stop-work meeting to condemn CUB's sacking of its maintenance staff and raised concerns about the impact this has had on safety standards.
As industrial action by Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) maintenance workers in Abbotsford enters its ninth week support continues to grow. The company is refusing to back down from its decision to sack workers and then offer to rehire them with a 65% pay cut. The dispute started on June 10 when 55 fitters, electricians and maintenance workers were told they would be sacked, only to then be “invited” to re-apply for their jobs through a third-party contractor, Catalyst Recruitment.
The industrial action by Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) maintenance workers in Abbotsford has entered its seventh week. The company is refusing to back down from its decision to sack the workers and then offer to rehire them with a 65% pay cut. The dispute started on June 10 when 55 fitters, electricians and maintenance workers backed by the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) were told by management that they would be sacked, only to be then “invited” to re-apply for their job through a third-party contractor, Catalyst Recruitment.
On June 10, 50 Carlton and United Breweries workers were told, without prior notice, that they were terminated. The workers were then “invited” to reapply for their jobs with a company called Catalyst Recruitment, which is in the Programmed/Skilled Group. The invitation to apply for a job came with no guarantees; would be on individual contracts; would be covered by a non-union EBA; and offered worse conditions with a 65% pay cut.
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