Union Wins – United Workers Union
April 7, 2020

“We Can Use This Crisis to Reconceptualize the Economy” – An interview with Tim Kennedy

MEDIA FEATURE   “We Can Use This Crisis to Reconceptualize the Economy” – An interview with Tim Kennedy Interview by Daniel Lopez – Read the full interview on Jacobin Australian workers are finally being addressed in the government’s rescue packages, but the measures go nowhere near far enough. National Secretary of the United Workers’ Union Tim Kennedy argues that the crisis offers an opportunity for genuine pushback and transformation. The United Workers Union (UWU) was formed in 2019, as a merger between United Voice and the National Union of Workers. With 150,000 members, the union organizes horticultural laborers, logistics workers, manufacturing workers, entertainment, hospitality and tourism workers, cleaners, and many others who are among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The UWU has a strong commitment to organizing undocumented and seasonal workers. It stands in a tradition of militancy: its predecessor unions having organized a number of successful strikes […]
January 22, 2020

Union welcomes Fair Work Commission decision to maintain hairdresser penalty rates

MEDIA RELEASE   The Fair Work Commission’s decision to maintain hairdressers’ weekend penalty rates was a belated recognition of the importance of weekend rates to low-paid workers, the National President of the United Workers Union, Jo Schofield, said today. Ms Schofield welcomed the decision to support hairdressers’ penalty rates, which flies in the face of the Morrison Government’s efforts to slash penalty rates for workers in the hospitality and retail sectors in 2017. “United Workers Union members know only too well how hard it is to fight against penalty rate cuts after successfully defending penalty rates for 42,000 clubs workers last year,” Ms Schofield said. “In the hairdressers’ case the Fair Work Commission (FWC) agreed with union arguments that a cut in hairdressers’ penalty rates would cut the earnings of low-paid workers, affecting their living standards and their ability to make ends meet. “This is belated recognition by the FWC […]
January 9, 2020

Corrections Minister must resign over assault lies

MEDIA RELEASE   The union for Correctional Officers says Corrections Minister Elise Archer must resign. Minister Archer has shown her outright incompetence by denying assaults on Officers took place. The Minister continues to deny the serious health and safety issues happening daily in her prison system. Jannette Armstrong, United Workers Union Tasmania spokesperson says, “Correctional Officers are simply staggered and offended at the incompetence and callousness in today’s comments to the media by the Minister. “To deny that assaults have taken place on Officers during the Christmas and New Year period when they are clearly documented in the Department of Justice’s official daily reports shows downright incompetence and a callous disregard for the complex issues that are spiralling out of control on her watch. “The facts are clear – Risdon Prison Complex and Hobart Reception Prison are over capacity. There was an assault on an Officer just before Christmas, an […]
November 25, 2019

Cooler classrooms create safer environments and improve learning

MEDIA RELEASE   Cooler classrooms create safer environments and improve learning   Safer working environments and improved learning outcomes for students will be among the benefits of air-conditioned classrooms being rolled out in 300 more state schools across Queensland. Teacher aide and school cleaner members of United Workers Union welcomed the $50 million commitment announced by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today. “Keeping students focused as they swelter in classrooms over the hotter months has always been a challenge,” Inala teacher aide Kim Maudsley said. “Hot classrooms are also a major health and safety issue for many students and school staff,” she said. “We welcome the Government’s commitment to ensuring safer working and learning environments in our state schools and the improved learning outcomes that will result from cooler classrooms.” United Workers Union Public Sector Director Sharron Caddie said school cleaners would also benefit from air-conditioned classrooms as they would provide an […]
November 12, 2019
Union win: Golden Farms
UNION WIN   Our Golden Farms members were gearing up to go on strike today. At the last minute, they were able to successfully negotiate a great agreement instead. This is a big win for our members. It ensures that when the company relocates, our members can choose between a secure union job at the new site, or can volunteer for an increased redundancy if the move is too far away. They also got increases of 3%, 2.75%, and 2.5% – and smashed the Company’s claim for forced public holiday work. Huge congratulations to our awesome Golden Farms delegates and members. Being prepared to take industrial action takes courage – but this shows when workers stand together, they win.  
November 12, 2019

Union win: Christmas pay saved for UTAS cleaners

MEDIA RELEASE   Sixty cleaners at University of Tasmania campuses in Hobart and Launceston have been saved from financial distress this Christmas.   Following mediation in the Fair Work Commission, cleaning contractor GJK Facility Services backed down on their attack on the cleaners’ pay over the upcoming Christmas period. GJK have agreed to pay their permanent employees their regular pay packet over the Christmas holidays and roster them on for regular shifts.   GJK Facility Services had told the permanently employed cleaners that they wouldn’t be given any work over the upcoming Christmas period, with workers to lose up to a month’s pay. The cleaners had also been told they would have no say in the weeks they would be cut from the roster across the Christmas holidays.   UTAS cleaner Anna Reay says, “When cleaners join their union and work together they can achieve anything. We are all so […]
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