Contributed from Victoria
The Australian Workers Union (AWU) is calling on support for striking members working at Fletcher Insulation in Dandenong (Victoria).
The Union’s state secretary Ben Davis took the message to the Australian Labor Party’s state conference on the weekend, where he urged delegates so support the striking workers. A motion of support was passed unanimously.
Eighty nine workers have been on strike since 17 February, because of setbacks in negotiations for a new agreement. They established a picket, which continues today.
They say is that since they have assisted the company in reaching record productivity in recent years and in the making of high profit levels, it is only right that some of this is returned in a wage rise.
Instead of doing this, management put forward an aggressive agenda during the last round of negotiations, Which included no wage increase, an increase in weekly working hours,
in the face of their employer seeking to reduce working conditions such as hours of work, manning levels and redundancy, slashing of redundancy entitlements and removing protections on job security to allow for casuals to replace full time jobs, the workers walked off the job and established a picket line at the front of their Dandenong factory in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs. security to allow for casuals to replace full time jobs.
On 29 March, management applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate their workplace agreement which may have the effect of reducing their take home pay by up to 50 percent. This is the second time an application for this matter has been made in the manufacturing industry and may have implications for the entire manufacturing workforce if they are successful.
Some of these workers have been employed by Fletcher Insulation for over 40 years.
The AWU is collecting signatures form workplaces across Australia and New Zealand, for a petition that calls on the board of Fletcher Building Group to make a fair offer to this group of loyal workers.
To help the Fletcher workers visit the link.