Contributed from Western Australia
Members of the Australian Worker’s Union (AWU) walked of the job at Alcoa’s aluminium refineries and bauxite mines in Western Australia, and they have bowed to stay out indefinitely, until they are offered an acceptable enterprise agreement.
The 1600 involved are now on the second month of the strike, which began on 8 August. Over 80 percent of the workforce has rejected the latest company offer, which would bring the loss of job security, and for some, up to a 50 percent cut in their pay.
Feeling is strong, because workers at Alcoa believe that what the company is doing is unfair, especially when the profit it is making is high. Last financial year they made 1.1 billion. And they suggest that this is a poor effort at doing right by those who did the work to make this possible. Some of these workers have been with the company for up to 30 years.
Now Alcoa has joined the push to cut its workforce, pay less and undermine working conditions.
Negotiations for a better deal had been going on for two years, and management has responded by threatening to cancel the existing agreement, if the workforce does not comply with its demands. An application for this is currently listed to be heard by court on 17 September.
Pickets have been operating at the various sites and supporters have come along to help. A women’s Day took place on 5 September, where wives and families came and showed that they too were affected and involved.
At meetings across sites from, 28 August to 5 September, the strikers called for a better offer.
Donations to support the strikers and their families can be made through this link.