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Prior to Kennett being elected in 1992 there was a Victorian Meat Award. Unfortunately, the Liberal Government, under Kennett, abolished the State awards so the basic standards were removed with the stroke of a pen.

Fortunately, the Victorian branch of the AMIEU had negotiated with many employers and Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, based on the VMA, had been registered under the Federal Industrial Relations system.

As well as the State Award, there was the Federal Meat Industry Award. Unfortunately the Coalition Liberal National Government, under Howard, is also committed to destroying workers' wages and conditions. Consequently they have gutted the Federal Awards. Peter Reith, who used to be the Minister for Industrial Relations, was up front about the fact that they were on the side of employers in conflict with workers. Tony Abbott is even more rabid, if possible.

You can find out what the conditions are in your workplace if you look under the button on Agreements. Click on them here to find the Federal Meat Industry (Processing) Award, the Federal Meat Industry (Smallgoods) Award, or the Federal Meat Industry (Retail) Award.

The Labor Government, under Bracks, has introduced legislation to reintroduce standards for all workers in Victoria see the article in the middle of this page.

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Ron McCallum's Speech

Workers Choice - Anti-Trade Union Law

The Work Choices legislation if I might call it that and it is quite right to say it is a fallacy of choice, places all the levers in the hands of employers and diminishes the rights of working people and is one of the most anti-trade union pieces of legislation I have read in the Anglo-Saxon world in the last 100 years. I do not say that lightly

Read What Professor Ron McCallum has to say about WorkChoices

Work Choice is aimed at destroying Unions

THE main purpose of the Howard Government's new industrial relations laws is to destroy the trade union movement.

Meat Industry Awards


Federal Awards August 2005


Award wage increases are a good example of the benefits of Union membership.  National wage cases are hard fought battles, with employers and the federal government throwing everything into showing a case why workers should not receive a wage increase.  It has only been the well run and argued Union case that has resulted in awards being increased by $112 since 1999.


Members should be aware- this may be the last wage increases as we know it.  Mr. Howard has announced plans to scrap the Australian Industrial Relations Commission's powers to award wage increases and hand it to a "Fair Pay Commission".  Mr. Howard isn't happy with the award increases that have been granted and is obviously trying to reduce them by setting up an anti-worker, right wing employer sympathetic alternative to the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.


Check out the Processing Award

Check out the Retail Award

Check out the Smallgoods Award


ICFTU attacks Howard

International Unions Condemn Howard

Australia: New laws will lead to unprecedented exploitation of workers
Source: ICFTU OnLine
May 27, 2005
Brussels, 27 May 2005 : The ICFTU has condemned the announcement by the Australian conservative government of plans to deprive the vast majority of the country's workers of protection from unfair dismissal, and to eliminate fundamental trade union rights. Under the new centralized laws, 99% of employers will be able sack employees indiscriminately, workers will be forced onto individual employment contracts, minimum wages will be reduced over time and the rights of workers to information and assistance from their unions will be heavily restricted.

"This is one of the worst examples of an industrialized country government riding roughshod over the rights and interests of working people", said ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder, adding "Workers' incomes will fall, particularly affecting the most vulnerable, and important employment and health and safety protections will be undermined".

The Federal Government intends to centralize powers which have until now been exercised by state governments, and to dictate the scope of collective bargaining between employers and workers by reducing the country's "award" safety net to just four minimum conditions. The independent Industrial Relations Commission will, according to the ICFTU-Affiliated Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU,  ), be "gutted".

"These new laws would constitute a flagrant violation of Australia's international obligations through the International Labour Organization" said Ryder, who along with ICFTU President Sharan Burrow, who is also President of the ACTU, will be briefing trade unionists from around the world on the Australian government's moves at next week's ILO annual conference.

The ICFTU represents 145 million workers in 231 affiliated organizations in 154 countries and territories. ICFTU is also a member of Global Unions:

Victoria Reverses Kennett's Abolition of Awards

Are you getting enough? Better wages and conditions for Victorian workers are here.

As of January 1, 2005, up to 350,000 Victorian workers left behind by the Kennett era should be receiving award wages and conditions. To make sure all eligible workers get their fair share and are not duped or forced into signing inferior individual contracts the Victorian Trades Hall Council is running an information campaign check here for detail

 Meat Union in USA Under Attack

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


Butchers Picnic

One of the Award conditions that was won by the Union about a Century ago was the Butchers Picnic. This is one of the conditions that the Howard Government intends to take out of the Awards. This was tried earlier but it seems sure that he'll get it through. 
Butchers Picnic still happens each year and is in EBAs. In 2005 Butchers Picnic was on 19 January. Check it out.

 Long Service Leave

Long Service Leave proposal brings Victoria into line

February 2005, VTHC Secretary Leigh Hubbard  welcomed the proposal by the Victorian Government to amend the Long Service Leave Act in line with standards in other states.
'We are glad that Victorian workers can look forward to being rewarded for their service after 10 years of employment, instead of 15,' Mr Hubbard said.
Under the proposal, workers will be entitled to take long service leave after 10 years on a pro-rata basis, giving them two months leave compared to the current three months leave after 15 years. Trades Hall estimates that up to 1 million Victorian workers will benefit from the changes.

Mr Hubbard said that even though the changes proposed by the Government do not go as far as unions would have liked, they provide a welcome boost to the rights of Victorian workers.
'We are particularly excited by the amended legislation clarifying that casuals do have the right to access long service leave. This should stop employers from putting what should be permanent employees on as casuals in order to escape their obligations.'

'We welcome the proposal to recognise all parental leave as service, and the averaging provisions for payment being calculated so as to not disadvantage workers who move in and out of part-time work. This will particularly benefit women who are the majority of Victoria's part-time workforce,' he said.
The amended Act is set to include a number of new provisions beneficial to workers, including:
workers will now be entitled to have their LSL paid out after resignation or termination following 7 years of service (down from 10);
casuals will be eligible for LSL where there has been no more than 3 months break in service, with provisions made for seasonal employment and casuals where the absence is due to the nature of the employment (the Act is currently unclear on provisions for casuals);
unions will be able to prosecute employers on behalf of members for non-payment of entitlements;
workers and their unions will be able to recover unpaid entitlements within 6 years of the non-payment occurring (currently 12 months);
workers taking LSL will not have public holidays absorbed by their entitlement ( as is the case currently).
'Victoria's long service leave provisions have lagged behind other states for some time now and and its time to put things right,' Mr Hubbard concluded.

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