ETU

Up to 2000 people marched in support of UnionsWA’s successful call on the Legislative Assembly to pass a new industrial manslaughter law. Alex Salmon reports.

Derryn Hinch and the three Nick Xenophon Team Senators voted with the government on February 15 to pass a bill fast-tracking the new federal building code that outlaws union-friendly agreements on Commonwealth-funded building sites, such as schools, hospitals and roads.

The clauses include union consultation provisions, restrictions on the use of labour hire staff, and requirements for non-working site delegates.

Up to 3000 construction companies will now have to replace their union-friendly agreements before they can become eligible to win lucrative federal contracts.

In the early hours of last December 12, 55 Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) workers returned to work to the sound of bagpipes and applause.

Five hundred unionists and community members turned out to congratulate the workers on their successful 180-day campaign.

A panel of union militants will lead a discussion about the new challenges facing unions and unionists in the wake of the passing of the federal Coalition government's Australian Building and Construction Commission and other anti-union laws.

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.

* * *

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.

About 250 people attended a rally on August 4 in solidarity with 55 sacked maintenance workers who had been employed at the Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) plant in Abbotsford. The workers, members of the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) and Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, were sacked on June 10. They were told they could re-apply for their jobs with a new contracting company, but that their pay would be cut by 65%. The rally, held outside the CUB brewery, was attended by members and officials from a wide range of unions.
Unions have slammed plans to axe more than 2700 jobs from the NSW power industry this year. Publicly owned electricity network companies Ausgrid, Endeavour Energy and Essential Energy have revealed plans to cut 2749 jobs from September, offering staff just one week to consult on the proposal. The announcement follows the recent passage of legislation by the NSW government to privatise the power "poles and wires" network. The proposed job cuts are part of preparations for the sale of long-term leases for the three public power companies.
Electrical Trades Union members around the country are currently voting for national and state union officials. The ballot goes from August 8-29. Nationally, a team of Howard Worthing, former assistant Victorian secretary, and Greg Wilton, former Western Australia organiser, are challenging incumbent national secretary Peter Tighe and Allen Hicks, for the positions of national secretary and assistant national secretary respectively. Allen Hicks is former Queensland assistant secretary. Reconnect ETU is running a full ticket against the Victorian incumbent leadership.
In October, Kevin Harkins, a member of the Labor Left, won the ballot to become the new secretary of Unions Tasmania. Harkins was an electrician and then an organiser with the Electrical Trades Union in Victoria, before becoming ETU Tasmanian secretary in 2000. He spoke to Green Left Weekly’s Linda Seaborn. * * * The recent Unions Tasmania election was the first contested ballot in years. Can you tell me about that?
Union and community opposition has firmed against Labor Premier Anna Bligh’s bid to privatise Queensland Rail National (QR), as the government prepares to launch shares in the rail freight corporation on November 22. QR National, a 140-year-old public asset, will be sold off at an estimated $2.50-$3 a share, raising up to $7.3 billion, ABC’s Lateline said on October 11.
On September 20, the Courier-Mail reported on its front page that the fire sale of Queensland’s public assets had “shifted into high gear” with the $7 billion float of QR National — Queensland Rail’s freight network.
For many union leaders afraid of a Coalition victory on August 21, campaigning against Tony Abbott in the federal election simply means campaigning for Julia Gillard. With a conservative win on the cards, unions have escalated their pro-ALP campaigning. The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) — which has filled Labor’s coffers with more than $340,000 for the election campaign — has enlisted officials for ring-arounds in marginal seats.
On July 17, unionists and residents from Forrest, a small town in the Victorian Otways region, converged on the shire office at Colac to protest against an Optus communications tower being placed in the middle of their town. The community picket line was established on the site for the new tower two weeks earlier. The community sought support from the construction unions, which it has received from the Construction Forestry Mining Energy Union and the Electrical Trade Union.
The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) has banned its members from working in uranium mines, nuclear power stations or any other part of the nuclear fuel cycle, AAP said on May 31. The union says uranium is the new asbestos in the workplace. The ban will apply to ETU members in Queensland and the Northern Territory and breaching it could lead to expulsion, said ETU Qld secretary Peter Simpson.
On May 10, skilled trades members of the Electrical Trade Union (ETU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union from Geelong and Broadmeadows Ford plants held a 24-hour stoppage. They were demanding better pay and conditions under their enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) and took their protest to the street. Ford wants to freeze the wages of all fixed-term employees at the current (2008) level one entry rate ($986.65 a week). The company did not verify the length of its proposed wage freeze.

Pages

Subscribe to ETU