Cleaners won greater protection against unfair dismissal and loss of entitlements in a Fair Work Commission (FWC) decision on July 12. FWC awarded the cleaners entitlements they had lost when they were transferred to a new company, after their former employer lost a cleaning contract with two Sydney hotels. Mel Gatfield, NSW secretary of the cleaners' union, United Voice, said the case was "hugely significant”, not just for the 19 cleaners who have received $70,000 in redundancy payments, but for the legal precedent it sets.
Childcare workers chained themselves to the entrance doors of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's Melbourne office on International Women's Day, March 8 to demand better pay for the mainly women who work in the industry. The protesters said the 150,000 childcare workers nationally were "woefully" underpaid compared with other educators.
Early childhood educators and supporters have been gathering in cities across Australia during November, calling for pay increases that reflect the professional nature of the early childhood education and care sector. United Voice, the union that represents these mostly female workers, is running the “Big Steps: Value Our Future” campaign for professional wages.
More than 200 people rallied to support of maintaining penalty rates at Capalaba Sports Club on September 5. The protest was called by United Voice to protest against the club’s decision to scrap penalty rates for workers and sack those who would not sign an agreement to trade away penalty rates, which would mean a wage cut of up to $300 a week.
“I used to go fishing. I used to go to community meetings. I stopped doing that. I am tired because most of the time I am doing overtime.” Gamal Babiker, Cleaner. Cleaners working for contracting giant Spotless walked from Chadstone to Melbourne’s CBD on March 26 to highlight the brutal workloads that force them to walk the same huge distances in their jobs every single day.