Woolworths’ decision that all new employees at its Melbourne Liquor Distribution Centre (MLDC) will be labour hire casuals has sparked an indefinite strike.
National Union of Workers
The union movement’s opposition to the China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) has ratcheted up since the agreement was signed in Canberra on June 17. ChAFTA allows for 95% of Australian exports to China to be tariff free. These will include many agricultural products, including beef and dairy. In addition, there will be liberalisation of market access for the Australia's services sector, and investments by private companies from China under A$1.078 billion will not be subject to Foreign Investment Review Board approval.
Warehouse workers at the International Flavours & Fragrances (IFF) factory in Dandenong scored a major victory on February 1, after their four-day occupation of the staffroom. About 30 workers took the action after IFF management locked out the workforce earlier last week. The workers, covered by the National Union of Workers, had been planning to undertake protected low-level industrial action against the company following months of negotiations for a new enterprise bargaining agreement.
Despite Fair Work Australia putting in place an injunction banning National Union of Workers (NUW) officials from taking part in the Baiada poultry workers’ picket line, workers and community supporters were able to hold off an attempt by riot police to break the picket late on November 11. One man’s legs were crushed when about 80 police charged the picket. He was taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg. NUW members at Baiada Poultry in Laverton North voted to begin indefinite strike action on November 9 and instigated a picket line around the chicken processing plant.