Uncategorized Archives - United Workers Union
May 7, 2021


The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work report on aged care funding reveals once again the terrible human cost paid for years of neglect, Carolyn Smith, Aged Care Director of United Workers Union, said today. “The report’s finding that $10 billion in aged care funding each year is necessary to meet Royal Commission recommendations is an appalling indictment on the treatment of older Australians,” Ms Smith said. “It is the same figure the Royal Commission reached when it found Federal Government funding in 2018-19 was $9.8 billion lower annually than it should be if aged care had not suffered cutback after cutback. “This report explains why aged care workers are left in tears after their shifts. “The $10 billion annual funding shortfall is leading to horrendous human costs in aged care, with older Australians left unsafe and vulnerable, and workers left physically and emotionally exhausted. “The report once again underlines […]
May 1, 2021

Health workers’ fight against sell-off continues

Industrial action by essential health workers fighting against privatisation of vital health services will continue after a failed bid by the Marshall Liberal Government to block the workers. “The Marshall Liberal Government has monumentally failed in its application to stop all industrial action – out of 172 work bans, 148 are continuing,” South Australian public sector director Demi Pnevmatikos said. “Our South Australian health heroes are able to continue their fight against privatisation at all eight facilities.” In an interim order the South Australian Employment Tribunal imposed minor alterations to work bans at six of the eight hospitals and medical centres where work bans are taking place. Despite Treasurer Rob Lucas’s alarmist rhetoric, work bans covering cleaning, catering and other areas of hospital services are all still continuing. “Essential health workers will continue raising their concerns about privatisation of vital health services, which the Marshall Liberal Government is refusing to […]
April 26, 2021

4 reasons you’re better off being a Union member

4 Reasons You’re Better Off Union   Unions have a long history in Australia. The first Australian union was formed in the 1820’s, and between 1850-1869 there were around 400 unions formed in Australia. In fact, United Workers Union itself is a successor of the Watchmen, Caretakers and Cleaners Union, which was first established back in 1910. Back then unions fought for the basic rights we sometimes take for granted today, like an 8-hour working day, weekends, overtime, annual leave, sick leave, long service leave, collective bargaining rights, universal superannuation, redundancy, health and safety regulations, penalty rates, and so much more. These rights have shaped the lives of working Australians for generations. But there is still so much left to fight for. Like the fight for increased superannuation, domestic violence leave, and gender equality. And the fight against wage theft, unfair dismissals, casualisation, automation, and insecure work – issues that […]
April 22, 2021

SA Health Heroes shocked by privatisation revelations

SA Treasurer Rob Lucas’s refusal yesterday to rule out further privatisation of health services and job cuts in hospitals has shocked workers who help care for South Australia’s ill, elderly and most vulnerable. Mr Lucas’s admission he was open to privatising vital public health services and inevitable job cuts was a betrayal of the South Australian community, United Workers Union public sector director Demi Pnevmatikos said today. “In the midst of a global pandemic, the Treasurer finally has revealed the secret plan that the community has been fearful of all along,” Ms Pnevmatikos said. “The Marshall Liberal Government is not ruling out privatisation – that’s why they want to attack the conditions and safeguards for South Australian workers.” Ms Pnevmatikos said Mr Lucas’s open discussion about privatisation options was a stark contrast to Mr Marshall’s statement ahead of the 2018 election that the Marshall Liberal Government did not have a […]
April 21, 2021

Union calls for new mRNA vaccine facility to employ workers facing redundancy

Today the Victorian Government announced a $50 million investment into mRNA vaccine technology and research, so that COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology can be manufactured locally. The United Workers Union welcomes this decision to address this urgent crisis regarding the loss of advanced manufacturing jobs in Victoria, as evidenced by the impending closures of pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and ExxonMobil’s manufacturing facilities in the coming year. These site closures will result in hundreds of highly skilled advanced manufacturing workers that are going to be made redundant, and until now have had no realistic opportunity to find further work in the sector. This announcement is a step in the right direction but further leadership and funding from the both State and Federal governments are required to rebuild Australia’s advanced manufacturing capacity. Quotes attributable to Tim Kennedy, National Secretary United Workers Union “United Workers Union welcomes today’s announcement by the Victorian Government […]
April 21, 2021

Health heroes fight for industrial action against SA Govt

Essential health workers will press their case today for state-wide industrial action to raise their concerns about privatisation and job cuts. The workers and their union will attend a tribunal hearing after a last-ditch attempt to block industrial action late yesterday by the Marshall Government, which sought to overrule work bans at eight hospitals and health centres. The South Australian Employment Tribunal ordered a compulsory conciliation this morning (EDS: 11.30AM WED). The work bans are scheduled to start at 12 noon today. Essential workers are launching rolling work bans to send a clear signal to the Marshall Government that privatisation of services and job cuts threaten the care of the state’s ill, elderly and most vulnerable. The concerns about privatisation and job cuts have been fueled by a 14-month delay in reaching a new enterprise agreement with 7,000 South Australian health heroes who have been on the frontline of the […]
April 1, 2021

Rally at McCormick strike puts future of food manufacturing jobs under spotlight

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY 1pm Thursday 1 April 2021 WHERE: McCormick Foods, Cnr Fairbank Rd and Brady Ave, Clayton South WHAT:  Shadow Education Minister and Shadow Minister for Women Tanya Plibersek, ACTU President Michele O’Neil and Victorian Trades Hall Secretary Luke Hilakari visit McCormick workers after five weeks on strike. McCormick workers make the sauces for every major fast food chain including KFC, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, Subway, Nandos, Oporto and Red Rooster. Workers haven’t had a pay rise since 2016 and have just voted no to an offer from McCormick that would cut their conditions. These McCormick workers who are leading the fight for respect for essential food workers are today joined by the wider Victorian community. VISUALS: Attendees will march in front of the building where the brands are displayed and decorate the fence of McCormick’s factory with easter eggs containing messages in support of the workers. WHO: Shadow […]
March 15, 2021

Aged care nurses and carers converge on Parliament House

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WHAT: Aged care nurses and carers media conference. When: 10.30am, Tuesday 16 March, 2021. Where: Senate Courtyard, Parliament House, Canberra.   A DELEGATION of aged care workers from across Australia will converge on Parliament House, Canberra, today (Tuesday 16 March) calling on the country’s political decision-makers to use the upcoming Federal Budget to urgently reform the understaffed and under-resourced aged care sector. The 25-strong delegation from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) and the United Workers Union (UWU) includes registered nurses, enrolled nurses and personal care workers concerned that elderly Australians living in nursing homes need action from Government now on critical reforms to get the safe, quality care they need and deserve. The Final Report of the Aged Care Royal Commission recognised that far too many have suffered because of the long standing systemic failings of the aged care sector and identified unacceptably low levels […]
March 7, 2021


Aged care workers have rejected central recommendations of the Aged Care Royal Commission, saying they do not go far enough or quickly enough to provide the care and safety older Australians need. In a snap survey conducted by United Workers Union on Tuesday and Wednesday, 84 per cent of aged care workers said they did not think the recommendations do enough to improve the quality of care for older Australians. And 84 per cent of aged care workers said they were not confident the Morrison Government would act to significantly improve the quality of care for older Australians. The poll of more than 600 aged care workers also found: – 86 per cent of aged care workers rejected the proposed increase of 20 minutes of care time as too low. – 78 per cent of aged care workers do not think they will get a pay rise as a result […]