After a 16-day strike, workers at Chemist Warehouse distribution centres declared victory on March 28. Among their biggest gains were an 18.75% wage rise over four years and the conversion of labour hire workers to permanent positions after six months of work.
National Union of Workers
The National Union of Workers (NUW), which represents Chemist Warehouse workers that had been on indefinite strike since March 12, announced on March 28 that workers had voted that morning to accept a new agreement covering those employed in the company's distribution centres across Victoria and Queensland.
Chemist Warehouse workers have succeeded in blocking trucks from entering or leaving the company’s Somerton and Preston distribution centres since beginning an indefinite strike on March 12. Workers at a Chemist Warehouse distribution centre in Eagle Farm, Brisbane, are also on indefinite strike.
After 12 days on strike, workers at Laverton Cold Storage voted on July 6 for their first union workplace agreement.
Emma Kerin from the National Union of Workers told Green Left Weekly that the striking workers had voted unanimously to return to work after endorsing a new EBA that includes significant gains for the workers.
Nearly 80 workers at Laverton Cold Storage in Melbourne’s western suburbs went on strike for the first time on June 25 when negotiations for their first enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA) broke down.
The Laverton workers are the lowest paid cold storage workers in Victoria, with a base rate of $20.50 an hour — only 30 cents more than the minimum wage. They work in sub-zero temperatures ranging from -10°C to -35°C. Laverton Cold Storage recently doubled the size of its facility in Truganina, showing it is not short of money.
"The refugee crisis is a union issue, as well as a social justice issue," Australian Services Union (ASU) NSW and ACT deputy secretary Judith Wright told about 100 people on June 27 at the "Change the Rules for Refugees" forum organised by Unions for Refugees.
"The ASU has members in support services for refugees. They see first-hand the results of the oppression and violence suffered by asylum seekers," she said.
About 30 National Union of Workers’ members at Yakult’s Dandenong South probiotic drink factory won a wage rise of 3% and reinstatement of RDOs on March 28 after being on strike for 10 days.
The workers walked off the job on March 19 and maintained a 24-hour picket line at the site while management refused to discuss the issue. Yakult had offered 2.5% at the cost of ending RDOs and deduction of union dues from wages. Australia is profitable for Yakult — it made $332 million profit in 2016-17.
National Union of Workers (NUW) members at the Ridley Agri site in the Geelong suburb of Lara stopped work for 24 hours on January 29 after negotiations lasting more than six months for a new enterprise agreement broke down.
The workers, who are all on individual contracts, want to collectively negotiate an enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA).
Members of the National Union of Workers (NUW) at Caltex’s site in Lytton, Queensland voted to start indefinite industrial action on October 25.
NUW members decided to take indefinite action following attempts by the company to effectively cut workers’ wages by 15%. They had been pursuing a modest annual increase in line with the Consumer Price Index, to protect their current conditions.
Members of the National Union of Workers (NUW) at Caltex’s site in Lytton, Queensland commenced indefinite industrial action on October 25.
The site manufactures lubricants and motor oils. Its key clients are mining companies. It is the only Caltex lubricant manufacturing plant in the country.
After a successful morning's picket that saw trucks backed up to the motorway, NUW members at Caltex lubricants in Brisbane have voted to repeat the blockade tomorrow morning from 5am.