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Killafaddy 17
See what was said by one of the workers from Blue Ribbon
UN Police Jail Unionist

United Nations Police in East Timor Jail Australian Unionist

ESP Larberg Strike

ESP/ Larberg/ Belandra
HEALTH & SAFETY DISPUTE
 
On Monday 11th November 2003 the employees on the mutton chain at Kyle Road stopped work over health and safety concerns.  

Read On

Castricum Bros Lockout

21st October 2004

CASTRICUM DISPUTE

The workers are locked out of their employment by the wealthy Castricum Brothers meat company.

These workers, who have not had a wage increase for over 4 years, have been locked out to starve them and their families into accepting even lower wages and worse conditions.

The Company wants these workers to sign Australian Workplace Agreements that would immediately cost them years of long service leave and redundancy entitlements, increase their hours of work, reduce their sick leave, cancel their entitlement to rostered days off, abolish penalty rates and loadings and lock them into a regime of low wages and no right to representation by their Union.

The CPI has increased over 16% since these workers last had a pay rise, yet Castricum want to decrease their wages. 

The Company has forced these workers onto 10 hour shifts in an industry that according to WorkCover has the worst accident/injury rate in Australia. And that rate is from 8 hour shifts!

This Company has been successful in having its existing Enterprise Agreement cancelled by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission despite the fact that Castricum promised to extend the wages and conditions until a new Agreement is reached.

This is the sort of industrial blackmail that is encouraged by the rabid anti-worker policies of the Howard Government.

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Rockdale

Large fine imposed over widespread abattoir problem

A major meat processing company's failure to take remedial steps or show contrition after an incident that left a worker paraplegic has resulted in it being fined $95,000 by the NSW Industrial Court
.

NZ Meat Workers

New Zealand Meat Workers Union  at Southmore meat processing plant in Christchurch have been on strike for 5 days. The multi billion dollar Australian company pays their workers 30% to 50% less than meat workers doing the same work. The immediate demand at Christchurch is only a first step with a demand for a 12% pay rise.

Find out more

ILO Complaint

ILO Complaint

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has listed Australia's IR laws for an immediate hearing alongside cases from Libya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Guatemala and other countries that are known as the world's worst violators of labour rights.

Canada

 

Striking for a Collective Bargain

More than 2,300 workers at the Tyson Foods slaughterhouse in Brooks (Alberta) Canada, members of UFCW Local 401, went on strike for a first collective bargaining agreement. Major issues were basic workplace protections like an end to harassment, improved safety training, and better handling of biological hazards. The majority of the workers are immigrant workers and refugees from Sudan and Somalia, lured to Alberta with the promise of a good job and a more secure future for their families. Tyson Foods dominates 27 percent of all beef, pork and chicken sales in the U.S. Tyson had no financial excuse for demanding sub-standard wage and benefit levels for worker in the U.S. or Canada. The employer played dirty but the workers stayed together and won a collective agreement.


Lakeside Strike Day 24
Friday, November 4. (Day 24)
The Strike is Over! Lakeside / Tyson workers in Brooks have ratified their first collective agreement bringing to an end a strike which lasted 24 days."

Look at how the struggle began


Union Fights Unfair Dismissal - AND WINS

 

7th June, 2005.

 

SACKED 'EYEBROW RING' - BUTCHER REINSTATED BY COMMISSION

 

The Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC) has ordered that Cameron Brown, a butcher sacked by Safeway for wearing an eyebrow ring, be reinstated with back pay and with no loss of entitlements.

 

Senior Deputy President Acton found that Woolworths had given permission to Mr. Brown to wear his eyebrow ring, covered by a blue band-aid, prior to him starting work at Safeway's Rosebud East store two years ago.

 

SDP Acton also said that she did not think that the wearing of his eyebrow ring constituted any more risk to hygiene in food handling than if he had worn "one small plain sleeper in each ear", which is permissible under Woolworth's dress code. 

 

The A.M.I.E.U. attempted to resolve this matter at a brief AIRC hearing envisaged by the AMIEU/Woolworths Enterprise Agreement.  However Safeway demanded that it go to a full hearing pursuant to the Workplace Relations Act.  Woolworths' conduct of the case caused the matter to run for a full 8 days of hearings with 17 witnesses. 

 

The decision of Commissioner Acton was later overturned by the Full Bench

Let's learn from USA


Given the attacks on our wages, conditions and right to organise that Howard is going to try after July 1, we should look at what Meat Industry Employers in America do to de-unionise the workers there.

Check it out here

Congratulations to the Tasmanian Branch


VICTORY

Congratulations to our Tasmanian Comrades


Benchmark ruling against labour hire company and host employer

FULL BENCH OF THE SUPREME COURT DISMISSES BLUE RIBBON'S APPEAL

 

After a 21 month lock out of 17 workers at the Blue Ribbon Killafaddy site in Launceston Justices Crawford, Evans and Slicer of the Full Bench of the Tasmanian Supreme Court dismissed Blue Ribbon's appeal against the decision of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.

The order stated Blue Ribbon and its labour hire company Newemploy now in liquidation to reinstate the Killafaddy 17 to their existing positions prior to the lock out back in April 2003.

 

Grant Courtney the State Secretary of the AMIEU hailed the decision as of national significance where nationally, since the Howard government has been in power, has stripped the Federal Commission of most of its powers to issue orders against employers.  The Full Bench of the Tasmanian Supreme Court with this decision has clarified the powers of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to issue orders against unscrupulous companies and reinforces the faith in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission to deal with disputes.

 

History

 

In April 2003 the Tasmanian Branch of the Meat Workers Union brought proceedings in the Tasmanian Industrial Commission seeking to have 17 workers from the Blue Ribbon Products plant reinstated to their former positions.  These workers were sacked and locked out in April 2003 after not agreeing to become so called 'Independent Contractors' with no award rights or conditions.

 

In a landmark decision in October 2003 Deputy President Shelley of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission made orders against Blue Ribbon Products and Newemploy directing both companies to reinstate the workers concerned and pay lost wages.

 

These workers and their supporters maintained a picket line through one of the coldest winters in Tasmania's history until the release of the decision in October 2003.

Both companies immediately sought to have Deputy President Shelley's decision quashed in the Tasmanian Supreme Court, arguing Deputy President Shelley's decision had made errors of law and had gone beyond the powers of the Act.

 

Justice Blow of the Tasmanian Supreme Court dismissed both applications by Newemploy and Blue Ribbon Products.  The Supreme Court ruled that Deputy President Shelley made no errors of law, nor did she go beyond the powers she has under the Act in making the orders she did.

 

Newemploy has gone in to liquidation with over $600,000 in debt with $800 in assets and Blue Ribbon has continued on its appealathon not accepting Justice Blow's decision taking their case to the full bench of the Tasmanian Supreme Court.  "These companies have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers trying to thwart industrial justice whilst 17 ordinary Tasmanian workers and their families have been without incomes for over 17 months in an industrial obscenity" Mr Courtney said.

 

The Killafaddy 17 were vindicated where their claims for lost wages and entitlements were accepted through the General Employee Entitlement Scheme earlier this year.  

 

Throughout the last 21 month ordeal the Tasmanian Branch of the AMIEU has continued to try and seek a settlement from these anti union bed fellows and all this company has done is pumped more money into the coffers of the legal fraternity.  The court also ordered that Blue Ribbon pay our legal costs that are substantial but are miniscule in light of what Blue Ribbon has pumped in to their army of barristers and lawyers.

 

The dismissal of Blue Ribbon's appeal to the Supreme Court of Tasmania (Full Court) throws out a message to all of those dubious grubby companies who think they can avoid their award obligations to their workers that they won't get away with it in this state.

 

The Killafaddy 17 have rewritten the Union Movement's history pages as this decision will be used in future attacks against ordinary workers across Australia as a precedent that workers have a right to work under an award system.  "They have been commended and are heroes of the Trade Union movement",  Courtney said.

 

Whilst there is a slight possibility of Blue Ribbon applying to the High Court for special leave to appeal, the Tasmanian Branch of the AMIEU and the Killafaddy 17 have won a huge victory over the dubious employment practices previously used by this company.

 

A copy of the decision is available on:

 www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/tas/supreme_ct/recent-cases.html

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/tas/supreme_ct/2004/28.html

A copy of the original decision by Commissioner Shelley can be found at http://www.justice.tas.gov.au/tic/decisions/2003/t10797_2003.htm

Live exports


Check out what was on the ABC Four Corners show

 

 Gathercoles


GATHERCOLE DISPUTE

Industrial Action
Members at Gathercole's works at Wangaratta and Tatura are currently on strike in support of a new EBA
.  Negotiations with Gathercole have continued for a couple of months, but have been unsuccessful. 
The Gathercole Agreement at Carrum runs out later in the year.

Company Offer
Gathercole wants to take away entitlements including Rostered Days Off, Make Up Pay on WorkCover, Butchers Picnic, half the redundancy payment, and 5% off the casual loading. 
Both Tatura and Wangaratta have long-standing, stable workforce who have worked in co-operation with the Gathercole Company over many years.  They are not prepared to see their conditions taken from them.

Guest Workers
Gathercole has recently opened a boning room at Tatura.  They have announced that it is their intention to operate it using a number of workers brought in from China under the Howard Government Guest Worker scheme.

March 16 2006

 Fili Asa

Lockout at
G&K O'Connor
1999

 
Fili Asa Delegate

 Safeway Dispute



Placards from the Safeway picket line

 Live Sheep Exports

Sheep being loaded for export to Jordan
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