Workers rights

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.

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.

Transport Workers Union (TWU) members employed by bus company Transdev WA organised a 4-hour stoppage on February 7 as part of their campaign for parity in wages and conditions with other drivers.

The stoppage, which affected routes through Rockingham, Mandurah, Fremantle and Joondalup, was the latest action in the union’s long-running industrial campaign that began in January last year. Talks between the Western Australian TWU leadership and the French multinational transport company broke down last October.

The Australian Workers Union (AWU) condemned the Australian Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision at the end of last year in favour of US multinational Alcoa, saying on January 4 it would fight it.

Ferry workers went on strike on December 6 in a bid to secure a fair wage and job security which, until now, their employer Transdev has refused to guarantee in enterprise negotiations.

The Retail and Fast Food Workers Union (RAFFWU) was formed in late 2016 as a response to growing dissatisfaction among retail workers with the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA). The Labor right-controlled SDA is notorious for negotiating enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs) that contain below award wages and eroding the rights and conditions of workers. 

Thousands of trade unionists marched through Sydney streets on October 23 as part of nationwide “Change The Rules” mobilisations coordinated by the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Under the slogan “Australia needs a pay rise”, an estimated 170,000 trade union members and their supporters filled Melbourne’s CBD on October 23 for the Australian Council of Trade Unions-initiated Change the Rules rally.

Workers at Alcoa’s aluminium refineries and bauxite mines in Western Australia have voted down a new agreement offered to them after a 52-day strike.

Thousands of trade union members rallied in Perth's Solidarity Park on October 18 to kick off the nationwide series of Change the Rules protests organised by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).

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