Workers In Struggle
Win for McCormicks Workers with the UWU
United Workers Union members at McCormicks Clayton South Factory voted to accept a revised offer from the company after nearly six weeks out on strike. The workers, many of whom have worked for decades at the factory which produces sauces for McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC as well as items such as Aeroplane jelly for Woolsworth, refused to take a cut to conditions and a measly 1% increase in pay after 5 years of stagnant wages. The new agreement is reported to include a 9% pay rise over the next 3 years, a $5000 sign on bonus and to keep the conditions management wanted to claw back.
SA AEA v the South Australian Government
SA Ambulance Employees Association is demanding more resources for the state’s ambulance service to help relieve over-worked staff and improve chronic ramping outside public hospital emergency departments. In an escalation of their dispute, the union has agreed to stop charging patients for certain ambulance trips starting on 10 March 2021.
The secretary of the Ambulance Employees Association, Phil Palmer, said “If [a patient] gets a priority one in longer than eight minutes, they won’t get a bill... If they get a priority two in longer than 16 minutes, they won’t get a bill …. [and] if someone gets a priority three in longer than 30 minutes, they won’t get a bill, and so on.
“We’ll be escalating [the action] over time if we don’t get the outcome we want.
“We don’t bargain — we’re fighting for the community’s safety.”
HWU v Aged care industry
The Health Workers Union is running a social media campaign calling for transparency in aged care funding with the release of the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged.
“Aged care workers in Australia are undervalued and overworked. We need to make the aged care system care-driven, not profit-driven. It’s aged care workers that must drive this change. We can only achieve this by standing together.” - Honorine Dowie, Personal Care Worker
Join the HWU’s fight to change aged care. Go to www.changeagedcare.org
RAFFWU v Readings Bookshops
Workers at Readings have become the first Australian bookshop workers outside University Bookshops to start negotiations over an enterprise bargaining agreement this week. They are being represented by the Retail and Fast Food Workers Union.
Break the Poverty Machine week of action held rallies around the country with a rally of 150 people gathering in Treasury gardens before going to the Fair Work Commission, making the connection between low dole rates and suppression of wages. The organisers see this as only the beginning of a growing coalition of groups working to push back against draconian social security laws and low wages and insecure work.
At least nine activists have been killed following simultaneous police raids in the northern Philippines that came just two days after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered government forces to “kill” and “finish off” all communist rebels in the country.
In 2018, a special task force was formed by the president to target the rebels and their supporters. Critics and human rights activists said the special body is also being deployed against mainstream left-leaning politicians and other critics of Duterte.
Rights groups have warned that the threat no longer makes any distinction between armed rebels, rights defenders, and critics of the Duterte administration.
6,000 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama near Birmingham are voting on whether they want to form a union.
The unionization push came from a group of largely black workers at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Ala. Late last summer, they approached a local branch of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which has grown in the South, particularly in poultry, an industry with traditionally dangerous jobs and many black employees.
The unionization effort, which began last summer, is the largest and most viable organizing campaign among Amazon workers in the United States.
The union deployed organizers who worked at nearby warehouses and poultry processing facilities to focus full time on talking to workers at the Amazon warehouse. By late December, more than 2,000 workers signed cards indicating they wanted an election, the union said. The National Labor Relations Board determined that those signatures signalled “sufficient” interest in holding a vote.
The Worker’s Solidarity Bulletin is a living document written to reflect what is happening within the labour movement, here in Australia and across the world. The producers of this publication, and participants in Workers Solidarity more broadly, don’t necessarily endorse or agree with all of the views in this publication. This is a place for debate and discussion.
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