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Recent articles by "a concerned citizen"
This author has not submitted any other articles.Recent Articles about Indonesia / Philippines / Australia Workplace struggles
May Day 2014 May 01 14
May Day May 01 13
Somerton workers defeat AWAs
indonesia / philippines / australia | workplace struggles | news report Thursday May 17, 2007 07:56 by "a concerned citizen"
And Yallourn’s stuggle goings on
Direct Action Beats AWAs In Somerton and How to get out of an AWA.
Workers in Somerton (a northern suburb of Melbourne) have proved that it’s possible to get off an AWA and onto award rates and an EBA. How did they do it? By resigning en masse and setting up a community assembly out the front of the work site.
A group of construction workers in Somerton have proved that it is possible to get off an AWA and onto award rates and an EBA. Metal construction workers building the new Coles distribution centre in Somerton were forced on AWAs that dramatically undercut their wages. $18 an hour casual rate was all they were being paid and ripped off on penalty rates as well.
Some of the workers were referred to the job through a Centrelink Job Network member. Under the ‘Welfare to Work’ breaching system, they were threatened they’d lose their benefits for 8 weeks if they refused this position. In addition, some of the workers were asked to sign a 20 page AWA which they had only seen on a computer screen.
The AWAs might have been a clever device for their employer not to pay the building industry award but the workers weren’t going to put up with being ripped off. Striking outside a bargaining period is illegal and aren’t AWAs binding contracts? The answer in the end was rather simple. All the workers affected resigned en masse and protested outside the distribution centre gates.
In response their employer sought legal sanctions against the workers claiming the union [AMWU] was organising an illegal strike. The case was thrown out. The workers weren’t on strike, but resigned and were protesting against their rotten conditions. What they hoped to achieve was to be re-employed on the industry standard rate of pay.
Still the company refused to budge. Coles was not the direct employer of the construction workers but were happy to allow a contractor to rip workers off who were building the Coles distribution centre. Ironically at 6am on Friday the 13th a community assembly magically materialized, literally from the early morning fog, outside the main gate of the distribution centre. Security and amazed truck drivers were informed that nothing would be going in or out until 10am and nothing in fact did move in or out for four hours.
Protesting by the metals construction workers and the community assembly had the desired effect. After some argy bargy with the union, Coles and the contractor agreed to pay the correct rates and the workers were re-employed. Workers on the site have scored a $10 an hour increase and a host of other benefits that come with working on a union EBA linked to the correct award, it doesn’t get much sweeter than this, they won!
More working class struggle in Melbourne
- Successful Community Assembly outside Elliot Engineering About 60 supporters gathered outside Elliot Engineering* on Friday May 11 between 6 am and 12 noon. Delivery trucks were turned away by the peaceful Community Assembly.
Elliot Engineering is part of a group of companies behind the outrageous lockout of union members in the La trobe Valley
- 48 workers from Mechanical Engineering Services have been locked out for 34 weeks from the Yallourn Workshop in the Latrobe Valley. According to Gippsland Trades & Labour Council, the company has used Howard’s Treacherous IR laws against these workers and is refusing to negotiate on a new enterprise agreement.
The peaceful community action was halted at midday when the police intervened on behalf of management to allow a truck to exit the premises. Numbers on the Community Assembly had dwindled by this point, making it difficult to maintain an effective presence.
AE has locked out his workers for 33 weeks at Yallourn in La Trobe Valley, set up dodgy shell companies MEC etc but finally after yesterdays little effort where he also crashed the cop car has been charged (at last!) AE drove along Canterbury Road with the deliberate intention of removing those still attached to his crane truck on bushes he swerved into.
Will be interesting to see how the «Fair’ legislation updated by backfooting Howard and proposed by ALP (Another Liberal Party) will be relevant to this case of classic unfair Bossy boots behaviour!
Later yesterday the Union Solidarity folks went to confront Howard at a Scout Hall being fitted with a water tank..... When one of the Union Solidarity crew pointed out that the roof which would collect the water was asbestos.... and that it would be better to fund removing the hazardous material roof and replace it with a safer material for the kids Howard’s minders got a bit unsettled and Howard was moved on.
Howard showed up in the City to announce his nicer fairer masked workplace laws for the Election and once again UnionSoli and a large contingent of Nurses heckled him in a community building and celebrating effort -well done to all who rocked up.
Fri 01 Aug, 23:59
Baiada poultry workers win agreement 15:44 Thu 24 Nov 0 comments
After two weeks on strike from 9 – 22 November, poultry workers at the Baiada poultry factory in Laverton have won a 4% annual pay increase and a reduction in the exploitation of casual and contract labour.
Support the striking poultry workers at Baiada! 17:53 Sat 12 Nov 0 comments
On Wednesday 9th of November, workers at Baiada Poultry began indefinite protected industrial action in their campaign for secure and permanent jobs. The campaign under the umbrella of the NUW began when every single worker in the largely migrant workforce at the plant has voted to strike.
Cold store workers emerge victorious 09:32 Thu 13 Jan 0 comments
The striking cold store workers at Swift Australia have held onto the eight-hour working day and their penalty rates, after a long battle with belligerent and at times sinister management tactics.
Community assembly underway at Swift Australia 17:49 Tue 11 Jan 0 comments
It is crucial that all supporters go now and stand on the picket line alongside their friends in Brooklyn.
Australian Building and Construction Commission 18:59 Tue 27 Apr 0 comments
Since the introduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission in 2005, we have witnessed a massive increase in deaths and serious injuries in the construction industry.
Pat Mackie, 1914-2009 19:18 Sun 06 Dec 0 comments
When in 1964 the Queensland government of Sir Francis Nicklin decided to call on all its powers to crush a strike by Mt Isa's miners, one man stood in their way - the union radical Pat Mackie. He led the strike, inspiring the miners to keep going, in a period when police were given carte blanche to suppress them.
Current workers’ struggles in Australia 21:41 Thu 30 Jul 0 comments
Current workers' struggles and industrial disputes in Australia in brief.
Drivetrain Systems picket 17:55 Thu 26 Feb 0 comments
On Friday (20-02-2009) 208 workers were sacked at Drivetrain Systems in Lavington. 130 workers only have jobs for another eight weeks... as management proceeds to strip the factory of an estimated $17 million in assets.
Melbourne: Noel Washington Rally 18:07 Fri 05 Dec 0 comments
If we're to win this struggle, it can only be through mass non co-operation, backed up by strikes if necessary, and by not holding back for the benefit of the Labor Party. It remains to be seen if the officials have the commitment they were putting on display this week.
Preston Motors workers win 20:40 Tue 17 Apr 0 comments
The month long dispute at Preston Motors is over. A breakthrought came on April 13 and NUW workers voted to return to work.more >>
Audit Commission Myths Aug 01 0 comments
The Workers’ Audit A document by angry workers, for angry workers to debunk some audit commission myths.
As simple as ABCC Jan 17 0 comments
Instead, we must emphasise that the defence of democratic rights is inseparable from the defence of the working class and its organisations. We have the right to organise, and no government can take it away. The Australian Building & Construction Commission must be defeated. It's as simple as ABCC.
Our rights at work Oct 04 0 comments
Our rights at work will be defended by grassroots workers’ struggle, or they won’t be defended at all. And in that struggle, we will build the democracy and the solidarity that embody the values of a different kind of society.
IR Reform encourages Lockouts Oct 14 0 comments
Howard Government, employer initiated lockouts have grown ten fold, with few restrictions on their use.
Dividing the Workers on IR reforms Oct 14 0 comments
John Howard’s Industrial Relation (IR) laws have not been watered down as most commentators claim.more >>
May Day 2014 May 01 Anarkismo 0 comments
No matter what gains we make in struggle, sooner or later employers and governments will try to roll them back. And no matter how much ground we give, employers and governments will only come back for more. The class war goes on, because whether we fight or we don’t, capital never stops fighting. The struggle will continue until we organise as a class, take the means of production into our own hands, and overthrow the entire capitalist system. Only workers’ revolution can end the class war and bring peace to the human race.
May Day May 01 Anarkismo 0 comments
As long as capitalism endures, the world will be wracked by economic crisis and war, but there is a solution. We can unite across national borders with a global movement against capitalism and all its ills. We can build our movement with federalism and direct democracy rather than authoritarianism and hierarchy. And we can make a revolution, forging a classless global society of libertarian communism, where a free federation of workplaces and communities replaces capitalism and the State. We can establish, at last, a world of liberty, equality and solidarity and it will be done by practicing the values of the society we wish to create.
Melbourne Anarchist Communist Group: May Day May 01 1 of Anarkismo Editorial Group 0 comments
The only way to end the crises of capitalism is to abolish capitalism itself. And the only way to abolish capitalism is for the working class to seize the means of production which are the foundation of the power of capital. In the immortal words of Lucy Parsons, widow of one of the Haymarket Martrys and a labour activist in her own right, "Never be deceived that the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth". In short, we must make a revolution. We will abolish the capitalist State and replace it with the free federation of workplaces and communities worldwide. We will establish libertarian communism, a classless society where the freedom and equality of each is the condition of the freedom and equality of all.
May Day May 01 Anarkismo 0 comments
Today, on May Day, we dedicate ourselves to this revolution, and the establishment of libertarian communism, a State-less society where each contributes according to their ability and receives according to their need.
Noel Washington charges dropped Nov 27 Anarkismo 1 comments
The Director of Public Persecutions has dropped the charges against Noel Washinton, the CFMEU Organiser who refused to attend an interview with the ABCC. As a result, the protest rally has been cancelled, but another rally has been called to celebrate the victory.more >>