Category Archives: Work

The new battle on Melbourne waterfront to defend rights at work

By Joe Montero

Last Friday, the Port of Melbourne was shut down by determined members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA). They did this to send a message to tugboat operator Svitzer. The dispute is over negotiations for a new workplace agreement  have stalled for 18 months, causing growing uncertainty. Continue reading The new battle on Melbourne waterfront to defend rights at work

Doctors reveal crisis in Australian emergency departments

Melissa Davey’s account of the state of emergency departments in Australia  hospitals (The Guardian 15 June 2021) should be of great concern to all Australia. How is it that this could be happening in such a rich country? Patients have a right to  proper treatment and so do health workers. The abuse from under resourcing has gone on for a long time. It has got to stop.

Continue reading Doctors reveal crisis in Australian emergency departments

Big business and Morrison government want the minimum wage frozen

By Joe Montero

In its submission to the current minimum wage case, Australian Chamber of Commerce (ACCI) and Industry has put that Australia cannot afford it. It wrongly suggests that Australia already has one of the highest minimum wages in the world and poses higher wages as counter to creating jobs. Continue reading Big business and Morrison government want the minimum wage frozen

McCormick workers demand to be treated with respect

Contributed

Nearly 100 workers at the McCormick Foods factory in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton have been on strike since 26 February. The reason? Management had imposed a five-year freeze on wages and now plans to slash penalty rates and conditions.

These workers are members of the United Workers Union (UWU), which is behind them in the industrial action they are taking.

The company had refused to negotiate a new agreement since the previous one expired in 2016. Now, it is trying to entrench zero wage increases, cuts to overtime penalty payment rates, and take away paid meal breaks.

On top of this, they want to impose a cap of 20 years on redundancy payments, in a workplace where many have been there longer than this. Increasing automation over the last decade has already seen jobs go.

McCormick Foods Australia is part of a US-based Fortune 1,000 corporation, and one of the largest producers of herbs and spices in the world, with an annual revenue of more than $4 billion.

The Clayton plant produces for McDonald’s, KFC, Hungry Jacks and Nandos. It also supplies supermarket chains.

The workers are calling to be treated with some respect.

A big part of the strategy is to build public support.

This dispute is important. Another major employer has set out to destroy decent jobs and take advantage of a labour market. If these moves are not rebuffed, all jobs in Australia are threatened. This would bring serious social and economic damage.

The wellbeing of all is far more important than amassing the fortunes of individual corporations. In any case, companies like McCormick Foods are still amassing huge profits and can easily absorb the cost of treating their workers properly.

There is still an online petition and supporters of the McCormick workers can sign it by going to this link.

Morrison’s anti-worker law must be fought in a serious way

By Joe Montero

As the Morrison government proceeds with its so-called Omnibus Bill, it amounts to a declaration of war against the Australian union movement and all workers. Behind all the spin and the pretence that this is about undoing the damage of Covid-19, this is a blatant move to destroy existing jobs. The key planks are to casualise a bigger part of the workforce, cut pay, and introduce individual contracts through the back door. Continue reading Morrison’s anti-worker law must be fought in a serious way