Media Releases - United Workers Union


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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 […]

“NT – the worst Ambulance service in Australia”- St John staff survey condemns

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY 2 pm Friday 7 May 2021 WHERE: United Workers Union office – 38 Woods Street, Darwin (Level 2) WHAT: St John Ambulance paramedics, emergency medical dispatchers and patient transport officers expose a toxic workplace, disregard for staff welfare and lack of training in United Workers Union member survey. 2021 survey results highlight significant concerns of ambulance workers which have been ignored by the private contractor St John Ambulance NT and Government. WHO: St John Ambulance Paramedics and United Workers Union spokesperson Erina Early will address the media on the survey results and the need for the service to be brought back into public hands. Quotes attributable to United Workers Union Northern Territory Secretary Erina Early: “The outcomes of this survey should send a chill down every Territorian and reinforces the fact that no emergency services should be privatised. It’s time to listen to the strong voices of our NT […]


The United Workers Union (UWU) welcomes additional Federal money for early education but the Federal Government’s recent announcement offers no solution to a growing crisis in the sector. “The Federal Government’s announcement of $1.7billion to fund early childhood education is a band-aid on a sector in crisis,” said UWU ECEC Director Helen Gibbons. “The announcement provides some financial relief to some families, but provides no funding linked to improving the quality of the sector or educator wages. “The early education sector is facing a workforce crisis, without enough qualified educators to meet current demand due to high turnover. The Federal Government’s announcement will only increase that demand, without providing any support for educators to stay in the sector. “The system is broken, and this half-hearted attempt by the Federal Government is not good enough and speaks more to a short term political fix than a vision of delivering a world […]

Hazmat suit workers expose exploitation in Queensland’s private COVID clinics 

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY 9:30 am Monday 3 May 2021 WHERE: Corner of Turbot and Wharf Street, Spring Hill at Brisbane’s Labour Day March. WHAT: Frontline pathology workers expose the exploitation driving unsafe practices and unfair wages in Queensland’s private COVID clinics to a crowd of thousands on Labour Day. WHO: Both private pathology companies have policies forbidding workers from speaking to the media under threat of retribution which is why workers are wearing hazmat suits to protect their identity. United Workers Union spokesperson Isaac Avery will be available for comment on their behalf. VISUALS: Workers in hazmat suits standing in front of a crowd of thousands at the start of the Labour Day March. Workers will also be on stage at the Brisbane Showgrounds at 12:40 pm in RNA marquee 1. Throughout the pandemic workers at QML Pathology (QML) and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) raised a litany of poor practices at the private […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

STATEMENT ON QUEENSLAND LOCKDOWN: Call for workplaces to use Government app

Attribute to United Workers Union Queensland State Secretary Gary Bullock: “Queensland workers are in a crucial recovery period and ensuring all workplaces use the same contact tracing system is key. “As we have just experienced, snap lockdowns are still occurring, and workplaces are still needing to close with little to no notice to keep the community safe from further outbreak. “The end of the JobKeeper subsidy is devastating for sectors like hospitality, particularly in regions of the country such as Far North Queensland where the local economy relies heavily on international tourism. Many sectors are still dealing with the flow-on effect of the crisis. “Workers have not regained normality yet, but as we continue to operate under the shadow of the COVID crisis decisions can be made to ease the burden. “We want all establishments requiring patrons to sign in to operate using the Queensland Government app. “The Check In Qld app […]


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: 8 am Thursday 11 March 2021 WHERE: Outside Victoria’s Parliament House WHAT: The Senate Economics Committee hearing on the Unlawful underpayment of employee remuneration inquiry. Workers and Victorian leaders speak out on the IR Omnibus Bill wage theft component that will undermine and weaken wage theft laws in Victoria, as well as Queensland. WHO: United Workers Union members Jules Gibson, Mohammed Abdillahi and Trent Whitehand-Willick will be sharing their stories of wage theft and how the IR Omnibus Bill threatens to strip away state protections. They will be joined by ACTU President Michele O’Neil, VTHC Assistant Secretary Carina Garland and Victorian Senator Jess Walsh. Attributable to Jules Gibson, Hospo Voice member, the hospitality arm of the United Workers Union:  “I’ve worked 16 years in the hospitality industry. I went to one of the best restaurants in town owned by an illustrious “celebrity chef” – there I was taught the industry standard; […]


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 […]


Quotes Attributable to Dario Mujkic, Director of Casinos, United Workers Union “Crown’s decision today to cease indoor smoking at its casinos by the end of next year is the right decision and is welcomed by the Union. “United Workers Union has been in discussions with Crown about ceasing indoor smoking for some time. Indoor smoking is a hazard and should not be tolerated in any workplace. It’s dangerous, damaging to the health of everyone in the vicinity and can kill. “Well done to the many United Workers Union members and WHS Representatives who have been fighting for this for a very long time. We will continue to engage with Crown around how this transition will be implemented. “In the meantime, the temporary but ongoing smoking ban at Crown Melbourne must continue.”   ENDS Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]


The United Workers Union (UWU) strongly supports the strategy report recommendation for the Government to regularise the visas of undocumented AgriFood workers. “Visa insecurity fuels exploitation in the horticulture industry, which makes it harder to attract and retain all types of workers. Visa regularisation is fundamental to the industry beginning a new way forward, with a level playing field and higher wage floor for everyone. An industry that values all workers on farms, and ensures our fruit and vegetables are picked on time and delivered to supermarket shelves,” said UWU Farm Industry Director Jannette Armstrong. “We call on the Federal Government to listen to its committee and resolve the visa status of farm workers who have picked our fresh produce throughout climate emergencies and now a pandemic. The people who keep our horticulture industry afloat. “If the government is serious about making sure farm jobs are good jobs, they will […]


WHEN: TODAY 12 pm Thursday 4 March 2021 WHERE: McCormick Foods, Cnr Fairbank Rd and Brady Ave, Clayton South WHAT: ACTU Secretary Sally McManus and Senator for Victoria Jess Walsh visit McCormick workers on day seven of their indefinite industrial action. Sauce and spice maker McCormick workers have gone five years with no wage increase and are currently being offered zero per cent with cuts to their conditions. These McCormick workers leading the fight for respect for essential food workers are today joined by the wider Victorian community. WHO: Sally McManus will be speaking on the damaging impacts of wage stagnation in Australia and Jess Walsh will call on McCormick to sit down and make a fair offer. Attributable to Sally McManus, ACTU Secretary: “Workers from McCormick have worked tirelessly throughout the trying conditions of the pandemic to make sure supermarkets were stocked, and Australians were fed. No wage increase […]


Today’s Aged Care Royal Commission’s recommendations threaten to leave older Australians without the quality care they desperately need, United Workers Union said today. “Reforms that address the neglect of older Australians are welcomed,” Carolyn Smith, United Workers Union aged care director, said today. “However an incremental approach to increasing care time – lifting care time from current levels by a miserly 20 minutes – means older Australians will still miss out on the quality care needed. “The lack of a clear recommendation on how the reforms should be financed also means older Australians will be hostage to political solutions rather than good policy. “Without clarity around funding sources and a bold increase in care time, older Australians will be left without the care and safety they require. “On another front, the recommendation to clear the Home Care waiting list will present the Federal Government a massive logistical challenge – even […]


McCormick workers in Clayton, Victoria, who make some of Australia’s most popular food products, have taken industrial action this morning after being denied a pay rise for over five years. The protected industrial action of an indefinite stoppage will be extremely disruptive to McCormick’s most important Australian facility. This bitter dispute sees a megacorporation trying to strip workers’ conditions including taking away shift penalties, overtime loading and meal breaks. Workers are furious that after five years without any pay rise, and working throughout the pandemic to keep restaurants and supermarkets stocked, McCormick is offering a zero per cent pay rise and cuts to their conditions across the board. Workers are only asking to maintain their conditions and receive a modest pay rise of three per cent for each year of the agreement. As a result of inflation, members’ real earnings have fallen by more than six and half per cent since 2016. The Victorian […]


Almost 3000 aged care workers are demanding a fundamental shake-up of aged care ahead of this week’s hand over of the Aged Care Royal Commission final report. In a survey, aged care workers called for a “big picture” overhaul as they identified serious issues affecting the care and safety of older Australians in aged care facilities including: Four in five aged care workers say older Australians are not getting the quality care they deserve in their facility because of under-staffing. Heavy workloads affecting care and safety, with 51 per cent of workers saying older Australians faced an unfilled shift every day.* Insecure working conditions affecting care and safety, with 61 per cent of aged care workers saying they want more hours, and 20 per cent saying they need to work two jobs to make ends meet. The results from the United Workers Union survey conducted late last year show a […]


On Wednesday afternoon Coles announced they were starting an indefinite lock out of their 350 warehouse workers at the distribution centre in Smeaton Grange, NSW. The indefinite lock out comes after an already-brutal three-month lock out, which Coles used to punish its workers for taking a 24-hour stoppage in November last year. Coles is automating its workers out of a job and plans to shut down the warehouse within the next three years. All the workers want are just terms that recognise their service and loyalty to the company, including better redundancy entitlements and a training payment to help them transition into new jobs and industries. Coles’ approach stands in stark contrast to rival Woolworths, which recently set aside $50 million to help transition its employees to the “Future of Work”. The company has shown little sympathy for the workers or their families during this lock out, despite the fact […]

Altona ExxonMobil Oil Refinery set to close, putting 350 jobs at risk

ExxonMobil is set to close its Altona oil refinery plant which has been operational for 70 years, putting 350 jobs at risk. Is it disappointing that news of the closure broke late Tuesday evening via an anonymous tip to the media, before the company held discussions with workers affected by the closure.    Australia has witnessed several significant closures in advanced manufacturing over the past twelve months across construction, pharmaceuticals and energy. This comes at a time when global supply chains have been put under pressure by the Covid-19 pandemic, signalling a strong need for Australia to strengthen its domestic advanced manufacturing capabilities. However in the absence of a clear plan for the future of energy supply and manufacturing in Australia, many multinational corporations are pulling out of Australia.    Australian ExxonMobil workers are rated #1 in the world by their own employer. That means Australia has been exporting high […]


Attribute to United Workers Union W.A. State Secretary Carolyn Smith: Our members working in hotel quarantine are doing their best in unprecedented times.  These essential workers deserve and need the respect and support of their communities, employers, and governments.  They should not be blamed for contracting COVID-19 when they are working to protect our communities.  The security officer who contracted the virus at the Four Points by Sheraton in Perth was doing an important job in difficult circumstances, and he went and got tested as soon as symptoms presented. If people are going to play the blame game when it comes to COVID-19, they should instead point their fingers at the dodgy contracting and job insecurity that plagues Australia’s security and cleaning industries. Most people do not work multiple jobs for the fun. They have families, financial responsibilities and are motivated by the need to get food on the table.  If a […]

Federal Government needs to step up on vaccine manufacturing at Pfizer facility in Perth

Pfizer has previously announced its decision to exit its Perth manufacturing facility in 2023. The United Workers Union is calling on the federal government to work with Pfizer and the state government to turn the facility into a world-class vaccine manufacturing facility. “These workers are skilled workers with lots of experience making cancer drugs and injectable products for our health care system. With Pfizer shifting this production to Melbourne and overseas, we have a unique moment to significantly upscale our nation’s industrial capacity to turn around hundreds of millions more vaccine doses,” said United Workers Union Executive Director Godfrey Moase. “While the McGowan Labor government has made a good start at exploring future options for the site, in the middle of a pandemic the feds have gone missing,” said Mr Moase. “The feds really need to step up and take responsibility here. We need vaccine manufacturing capacity on the west coast […]

Peters Ice Cream workers battle $9-an-hour pay cut

Workers at Peters Ice Cream production facility in South East Melbourne are set to take industrial action in their fight to stop the slashing of wages for casual workers. The initial protected action will commence Friday January 22 at 12.01 am in the form of an indefinite ban on overtime. Peters, whose well known brands include Drumstick, Maxibon and Frosty Fruit, have failed to listen to workers concerns around casualisation and low pay since negotiations began in March last year. Workers have already rejected the company’s offer that would cut the hourly wage of casual employees by more than $9 per hour. Peters maintains a highly casualised workforce – more than 30 per cent of workers are in insecure casual work, many being at the company for years without an offer of a secure permanent job. As essential workers, both casual and permanent employees have been required to put health […]

No Christmas cheer for SA hospitality workers in 2020

Hospitality workers would be forgiven for thinking the worst of 2020 was behind them as the year enters the festive season. But the Marshall Liberal Government has one more blow to deliver workers in the sector. This year, South Australia is the only Australian state or territory not to recognise Saturday, December 26 as a public holiday. Under South Australian legislation, this year because Boxing Day is on a Saturday, the State Government is moving the public holiday to Monday, December 28. This means workers won’t be entitled to public holiday penalty rates on December 26, workers will only receive Saturday rates. Meanwhile, hospitality workers in all other states and territories across Australia will receive public holiday rates of pay. United Workers Union is calling upon the Premier to do the right thing and declare both days as public holidays. “It’s a bitter blow to workers after an incredibly difficult […]

Union calls on Coles to get warehouse working again in face of Sydney COVID crisis

The United Workers Union (UWU) has today called on Coles to urgently get the Smeaton Grange warehouse operational in the face of a growing COVID-19 outbreak threatening Sydney. Workers are ready to get back to work to provide Sydney with the supplies it will need, but have been locked out by the company since November when negotiations for improved redundancy for workers facing automation broke down. “These workers were there in the pandemic last time and can be there again. Coles can get this crucial warehouse operating again very easily, all they need to do is negotiate fairly with workers,” said UWU Logistics Director Matt Toner. “Workers outstanding claims are simple, improved job security in the form of a casual to permanent ratio, the right to transfer to the new Coles automated warehouse and improved redundancy that acknowledges workers jobs are being automated.” Coles has set up a system of […]


MEDIA ALERT: NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST ACTION AGAINST COLES  Today, hundreds of workers and supporters will launch coordinated protests across Australia calling on Coles to negotiate a just transition for workers and their families ahead of Coles’ automation programme.  Rather than negotiating with workers, Coles decided to lock out 350 workers for three-months over the Christmas period.  “Today’s actions will be heard loud and clear across Australia as these Coles workers stand up for their rights and the rights of all workers facing automation in the future,” said UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy who will be speaking at the Melbourne press conference this morning.  “Coles is one of the biggest private sector employers in this country. They cannot walk away from workers whose jobs they want to abandon without negotiating a proper automation settlement.  “These workers built Coles’ empire, gave them the capital to invest billions into automation. Now, these […]


Coles’ lock out of workers at a major south-western Sydney distribution centre was labelled “a disgrace” by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese today in a visit to the site. In November Coles locked out 350 workers and closed the Smeaton Grange shed for three months after the workers took industrial action in their claim for a fair redundancy. “(The fact that) workers will continue to be locked out over Christmas and up to February is quite frankly a disgrace,” Mr Albanese. (Link to footage HERE). “I have indicated that very clearly on behalf of the Australian Labor Party to Coles management. “It is completely unacceptable that they are not prepared to negotiate in good faith to resolve these issues and get these outstanding Australian men and women back to work.” Mr Albanese said workers needed to be looked after as they face automation of their jobs. “We all know about technological […]


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY 9 AM Tuesday 15 December 2020 WHERE: Hanes Warehouse – 31-39 Permas Way, Truganina WHAT: Hundreds of workers at the Melbourne Hanes warehouse, who distribute Bonds, Champion and Sheridan sheets, have gone on strike this week in their fight against extreme casualisation in the outer western suburb of Melbourne, Truganina. Permanent full-time workers are making a stand alongside their casual workmates as they fight for their right to a decent job and life. WHO: United Workers Union National Secretary Tim Kennedy will give an address and be available for comment on site. Striking warehouse workers will provide good visuals, rally cries, and be available for comment. Following Hanes’ refusal to meet workers for further negotiations since a company offer that included cuts and changes to workers’ conditions was voted down last week, permanent workers walked off the job in an act of solidarity with their fellow casual workers. The warehouse is […]


In a vote this morning 350 Coles workers in south-western Sydney locked out by Coles for three months endorsed the company’s 3.5 per cent wage offer. But the vote does not signal the end of the bitter dispute. In the vote today workers called on Coles to negotiate with them about the issues they have always seen as more important than a pay rise: a fair redundancy and addressing the company’s ability to arbitrarily fire workers. The endorsement directly addresses and rejects Coles’ persistent attempts to portray the dispute with Coles Smeaton Grange workers as being about a pay increase. Coles has locked out the workers for three months, leaving them without pay over Christmas. Ahead of the successful vote Coles worker Ian told a meeting at the Smeaton Grange site held this morning: “To show good faith to Coles and to show everyone else in Australia this dispute is […]

Hundreds of Bonds warehouse workers strike over extreme levels of casualisation as company profits boom

Workers at the Melbourne Hanes warehouse, who distribute Bonds, Champion and Sheridan sheets, have gone on strike from 12:01am today in their fight against extreme casualisation in the outer western suburb of Melbourne, Truganina. The strike, which is planned to continue as rolling, constant stoppages without breaks until at least Thursday, has come as tensions boiled over between the workers and the company. Hanes has refused to meet the workers for further negotiations since a company offer that included cuts and changes to workers’ conditions was voted down last week. The warehouse is one of the most casualised in Victoria, with less than half of the workforce having permanent jobs and up to 150 casual workers on site on any given day. Some casuals have been waiting up to 8 years for permanent positions at the Melbourne warehouse, while the company has cut 30 permanent jobs during the last few […]


WHEN: 2pm Saturday, 12 December, 2020. WHERE: Belmore Park opposite Central Station, Haymarket, Sydney WHAT: 350 Coles workers who have been locked out from the Smeaton Grange distribution centre are calling on Coles to treat them fairly as they face redundancies when the shed closes in a couple of years. WHO: United Workers Union president Jo Schofield and Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey will be among those addressing the rally. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. Coles workers have put their lives and their livelihoods on the line in the struggle for a better deal for them and their families after a lock out by Coles, United Workers Union logistics director Matt Toner said today. “Coles’ cruel lockout has left these workers without pay for 23 days ahead of Christmas and exposed these workers to incredible hardships. “Coles is wrong to […]

High Court refuses Spotless leave to appeal against landmark redundancy pay ruling

On 11 December 2020, Spotless Companies were refused leave by The High Court to appeal against a Federal Court Judgment holding them liable for redundancy pay for employees who lost jobs when Spotless lost a contract. The Full Federal Court previously rejected two Spotless appeals in July 2020, against two judgments holding them liable for redundancy pay. The original judgments held that Spotless should not deny redundancy pay to workers at the Sunshine Plaza Shopping Centre, in Queensland and Perth Airport in Western Australia, when Spotless lost cleaning and security contracts in 2014 and 2015. Despite having held the contracts for over 12 years, Spotless claimed that redundancies following the contract losses were ‘ordinary and customary turnover of labour’ under a Fair Work Act loophole and workers were not entitled to redundancy pay. Spotless asked the High Court to overturn the previous adverse judgments on the basis that they say […]


The historic West End brewery site could be sold for about $80 million for the development of 480 high-quality residential units, a financial analysis of the site by United Workers Union has found. If the sale price were achieved it would amount to 40 times the total amount being sought by about 100 striking workers at West End brewery, who have called on the brewery multinational Kirin, owners of Lion, not to abandon South Australian workers as they abandon South Australia. The 160-year-old brewery site is on an 8-hectare site on Port Road at Thebarton, just across the River Torrens from the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and about 1.7 kilometres from Adelaide’s CBD. The analysis finds the site is worth $78.8 million. It assumes the land would be used for 480 medium density, low-rise, high-quality apartments and calculates the price a developer would be willing to pay to develop the site […]


Shortages in vital consumer goods have hit at the heart of the Coles network in the lead-up to Christmas, after Coles locked out 350 workers from one of Sydney’s largest distribution centres. Shortages in goods previously distributed through the Smeaton Grange distribution centre are apparent in Coles stores throughout Sydney, including flagship stores highlighted by Coles’ management as they stock up for Christmas. At Coles in Macquarie Centre on Tuesday stock shortages and empty shelves were visible in bottled water, tissues and canned fruit. Shortages and empty shelves were also visible at Coles in Westfield Parramatta. Last week Coles’ chief operating officer Matt Swindells visited the Macquarie Centre store, writing in an email to all Coles staff that the store “looks fantastic”. While the shortages at Macquarie Centre do not rival the empty shelves being experienced throughout south-west Sydney and the South Coast – where Smeaton Grange traditionally supplies about 130 […]

Fair Work Commission Order

The Fair Work Commission has made a bargaining order. The bargaining order, during its period of operation, restrains the United Workers’ Union (including through its officers, servants and agents) from preventing, hindering or interfering with persons or vehicles accessing or exiting the West End Brewery site at 107 Port Road, Thebarton, South Australia 5031. You are hereby advised that the United Workers’ Union no longer authorizes or supports any obstruction of access to, or egress from, that site. The bargaining order does not preclude the taking of protected action consistent with the FW Act. Copy of the order: Fair Work Order – West End Brewery December 8 2020

G8 exposed as ripping off educators while posting millions in profit

Today it’s been revealed that G8, the largest for-profit provider of early childhood education in the country, has underpaid as many as 27,000 educators as much as $80 million. Contraventions of the Award date back to 2014, and relate to basic entitlements including payment of overtime and allowances, minimum engagement periods, and record-keeping of hours worked. G8 described this largescale breach of the Award as “potential inadvertent non-compliance with some requirements.” Last year G8 posted a profit of $154.9 million. It now appears that this profit was built by depriving educators of their minimum legal entitlements. United Workers Union Early Childhood Education and Care Director Helen Gibbons said: “United Workers Union has been raising issues like this for years. Finally, the extent of this issue has been exposed, and G8 should hang their heads in shame. “There’s no excuse for this level of ongoing and systematic wage theft from low-paid […]

Unions Mobilise AI to turn the tables on wage theft in hospitality

Unions are taking the fight against wage theft to the next level with a new app that uses artificial intelligence to empower young hospo workers and help them turn the tables on dodgy bosses. With IR policy set to dominate federal politics this week, digital union Hospo Voice (the hospitality arm of the United Workers Union) will today launch its new app Mobilise For Hospo Voice with an online event where hospo workers can get wage theft questions answered by AI live on Facebook. Mobilise has an AI-powered chatbot backed by a team of volunteer experts. Mobilise can also check workers’ pay, record their hours worked and help them report harassment and bullying. The new app Mobilise was beta-tested with union members over the last few months. So far 270 questions have been answered. Mobilise’s AI brain is already answering 35% automatically, with this proportion set to rise as more workers use the app. Mobilise uses artificial intelligence (AI) […]


A heavy-handed move by Coles to lock out workers at one of the region’s biggest warehouses for three months has hit stores in South West Sydney and the South Coast hard with shortages of vital products including nappies, canned food items and bottled water. The current shortages also raise the prospect of further shortfalls of household and food items for south-western Sydney and South Coast residents in the busy retail period before Christmas. The shortages contradict Coles’ assurances through their spokespeople that the aggressive industrial tactic of locking out workers for three months over Christmas would cause no shortages. Coles locked out the 350 workers in late November, escalating a dispute over redundancies and job security after announcing the warehouse in Smeaton Grange would close to make way for a new automated one in 2023. United Workers Union Logistics Director Matt Toner said: “It’s clear the closure of one of […]

Prison Escape: No surprise for United Workers Union Members

A prison break which saw a prisoner escape Adelaide Remand Centre (ARC) on Tuesday morning, comes as no surprise to custodial officers working at the facility. United Workers Union members employed as custodial officers at the Adelaide Remand Centre (ARC) have raised numerous concerns about understaffing and their safety at work over the past 12 months. These concerns are underpinned by widespread understaffing, being subject to violence and intimidation and issues such as not being able to take meal breaks. Custodial officers claim that under ARC’s contract provider Serco the staffing level to run the facility is less than half the number of staff engaged prior to privatisation. This reduction in staff may explain the $8 million dollars per year in savings claimed by the State Government when they awarded Serco the contract in 2019. Comparisons in relation to staffing levels, now and prior to privatisation:• In the gym / […]


United Workers Union welcomes a boost to the number of paramedics and health professionals, and extra teacher aides, all announced in today’s State Budget. Throughout the election, Queensland United Workers Union members called for commitments from both sides of politics to properly fund our health services and keep public jobs in public hands. The Palaszczuk Government made those commitments and has today delivered on those promises for Queensland with the announcement of: 1,700 more health professionals 1,139 new teacher aides and 6,190 teachers over the next four years 475 more ambulance officers United Workers Union National Ambulance Coordinator Fiona Scalon said: “The Palaszczuk Government has delivered on their election commitments for more ambulance resources in the state budget. “Ambulance officers have been on the frontline of this pandemic, and these 475 extra positions announced today alongside new and upgraded stations, and sufficient vehicle numbers, will ensure our members can continue […]


WHEN: 7am Tuesday, 1 December, 2020. Press conference at 7.45am. All times local time. WHERE: Brisbane Airport – Kingsford Smith Memorial WHAT: Over 100 cars will create a motorcade at and around Brisbane Airport from 7 am – 7:30 am calling on ISS Facility Services to adopt a fair, transparent process in their plans to cut more than 30 per cent of airport security officers Australia-wide. This will be followed by a press conference at 7:45 am at Kingsford Smith Memorial. WHO: Security Officer Angie Brandham and United Workers Union Spokesperson for Property Services, Damien Davie and will be available for comment. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. As Brisbane Airport bounces back today (EDS: Tuesday) with increased flights and interstate border restrictions largely removed, hundreds of airport security officers facing the sack nationally will be calling for fair treatment. After […]

Sexual harassment, poor infection controls, understaffing – Workers’ extraordinary claims about unsafe practices in Queensland’s COVID testing clinics

Frontline workers at Queensland’s two largest private pathology companies have exposed shocking health and safety practices, including widespread allegations of physical and sexual assault. Employees at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (SNP) and QML Pathology (QML) have spoken out about a litany of poor practices at the pathology clinics, which conduct tests as part of Queensland’s coronavirus testing regime. During peak infection rates in Queensland, COVID-19 concerns were raised that poor infection control processes may risk the spread of the coronavirus, including allowing potential COVID-19 patients to attend non-COVID testing clinics, a lack of social distancing and moving collectors between COVID and non-COVID testing clinics. SNP had also previously prohibited certain staff from wearing masks in the workplace, directing them to remove those masks if they wore them during their shift. This is despite workers with vulnerable family members raising concerns about the risk of workplace transmission. When United Workers Union members […]


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: 12 pm TODAY Saturday 28 November, 2020 WHERE: Coles Tooronga Village – 766 Toorak Road, Glen Iris, VIC. This is Coles’ flagship store and is co-located with their head office. WHAT: As the United Workers Union’s boycott on Coles grows, 50 workers will stage a protest at Coles’ head office in Tooronga, Melbourne. They will be advising customers of Coles’ decision to lock out workers for three months at their Smeaton Grange warehouse in New South Wales, rather than negotiate transfer rights, improved redundancies and rights for casuals in the face of a looming site closure and automation.  WHO: United Workers Union Director of Logistics Matt Toner will be on site for comment and there will be speeches by workers who are exploited by Coles in their supply chain.    Further information:


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: 7:45 am TODAY Thursday 26 November, 2020 WHERE: Brisbane Airport – Kingsford Smith Memorial WHAT: Over 100 cars will create a motorcade at and around Brisbane Airport from 7 am – 7:30 am calling on ISS Facility Services to adopt a fair, transparent process in their plans to cut 30 per cent of airport security officers Australia-wide. This will be followed by a press conference at 7:45 am at Kingsford Smith Memorial. WHO: Security Officer Angie Brandham and United Workers Union Spokesperson for Property Services, Damien Davie and will be available for comment. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. United Workers Union members will rally on wheels outside Brisbane Airport to demand ISS Facility Services adopt a fair, transparent process in their plans to cut 30 per cent of airport security officers Australia-wide. At Brisbane Airport 210 security officers are on the chopping block, with ISS […]


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: 8:45 am TODAY Thursday 26 November, 2020 WHERE: Melbourne Airport – Outside Virgin Departures Hall WHAT: Over 100 cars will create a motorcade at and around Melbourne Airport from 8 am – 8:30 am calling on ISS Facility Services to adopt a fair, transparent process in their plans to cut 30 per cent of airport security officers Australia-wide. This will be followed by a press conference at 8:45 am outside Virgin Departures Hall. WHO: United Workers Union Spokesperson and security officers will be available for comment NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. United Workers Union members will rally on wheels outside Melbourne Airport to demand ISS Facility Services adopt a fair, transparent process in their plans to cut 30 per cent of airport security officers Australia-wide. At Melbourne Airport 283 security officers are on the chopping block, with ISS to hand out redundancies at random, a […]

Union calls for boycott, unveils Cashed Up Coles website

MEDIA RELEASE In another escalation at Smeaton Grange in New South Wales, members of the United Workers Union have called for a boycott of Coles this Christmas. Coles locked workers out until February 2021 in an aggressive move last week after workers began rolling 24-hour stoppages. The Union has today also launched a website where Coles workers from around the country can anonymously upload their experiences of working for Coles. Coles is currently building a new automated warehouse but so far have refused to give skilled and long-serving warehouse workers in Smeaton Grange an opportunity to be redeployed to the new warehouse. Some of these workers have worked for the company for over 30 years. Workers are seeking improved redundancy entitlements, the right to transfer to the new Coles warehouse, job security in the form of a permanent to casual ratio and an increased wage offer. Workers are calling […]


Stood down security officers at Launceston Airport have been told they will only be reinstated after paying for their own COVID-19 tests. The security officers were stood down several months ago, and with the reduction in JobKeeper, have been struggling to make ends meet. Yet their employer ISS Facility Services is mandating they present a negative COVID-19 test before they return to work, despite the fact the state government is no longer covering the expense for asymptomatic persons. “This is just ridiculous. These essential workers want nothing more than to get back to work, yet ISS is just making it harder,” said Damien Davie, United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services. “Anyone who goes for a test and doesn’t have symptoms now must pay $200 out of their own pocket. This is because it is highly unlikely that Tasmanians will have contracted it in the community and the Government no […]


A shaky SA Government response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been revealed by a survey of a broad cross-section of South Australian public sector health, aged care and disability support workers. In findings of a survey conducted earlier this year, hundreds of public sector workers raised serious concerns about the COVID-19 response including: Cuts to hours in aged care facilities at the height of COVID-19 leaving social and emotional needs of aged care residents unmet. More than half of workers reporting workload increases – with short staffing seen as the major contributor. Respondents repeatedly cited confusion, lack of direction and a lack of communication as a hallmark of the state’s COVID-19 response. “The fact hours were cut in aged care facilities means at the very least care standards were threatened in the COVID-19 response,” SA public sector co-ordinator Paul Blackmore said today. “This survey shows the health and disability systems […]

Palaszczuk Government must cough up ambulance funding in state budget

Queensland’s paramedics are calling on the newly sworn-in Palaszczuk Government to put their money where their mouth is and deliver on election commitments for more ambulance resources in the state budget next week. United Workers Union ambulance member Rachelle Owen said the Labor Government had made a lot of promises during the election campaign, but now was the time to put words into action. “As ambulance officers, we’ve been on the frontline through COVID-19, working around the clock to keep our communities safe and healthy across the state,” she said. “We need to make sure we have proper resources and funding so we can continue to keep up with the growing demand for our essential services. “During the election, we heard a number of commitments from Labor, including more paramedics, new and upgraded stations, and sufficient vehicle numbers. “Now we want to see the funding for these commitments in black […]

“Long term workers could be leaving with nothing”: West End workers commence indefinite strike for a fair redundancy for all workers

Workers at the iconic South Australian West End Brewery have commenced an indefinite strike with the aim of winning a fair redundancy for all workers who will be left jobless after Lion announced the site closure earlier this month. The essential workers are fighting for an improved redundancy pay that recognises they are being made jobless in the middle of an economic recession, despite the fact they worked loyally for the company throughout the pandemic. In addition, 15 long-term “casual” workers, some with up to 26 years of service, are likely to be thrown into unemployment with no redundancy pay at all. The workers who look likely to miss out have given almost 100 years of combined service to the company. The long-term casual contracts these workers are under are true to form for Lion and parent company Kirin, who regularly keep a high proportion of workers in precarious and […]

Coles workers file for indefinite stoppage in the face of three-month lockout

This morning members of the United Workers Union (UWU) in New South Wales stepped up their industrial action, filing for their strike action to be indefinite. Last week, Coles made good on a threat to lock workers out for three months over the Christmas and New Year period. A three-month lockout for more than 350 families over the festive season is something the UWU has never seen. Workers are calling for the company to see sense and negotiate a fair outcome, instead, Coles has gone on the attack in an unprecedented response for the warehousing and logistics industry. In response, workers have not only filed for an indefinite strike but have also taken the fight to Coles by petitioning outside of stores and in shopping centres, telling customers about the unfair actions Coles has taken against them. Over the weekend hundreds of potential customers chose to shop elsewhere rather than […]

Casino workers win suspension of indoor smoking, call on Crown to make it permanent

Following an eight-month shutdown at Crown Melbourne, this week the casino will reopen gaming areas, including VIP rooms where patrons are permitted to smoke indoors. Crown initially indicated they would allow indoor smoking from this week, permitted under archaic exemptions by the Victorian Government. However, under pressure from casino union members, Crown has advised they will suspend indoor smoking temporarily until the 6th of December. Workers are particularly concerned about the impact of indoor smoking during COVID-19, however, they are pushing to make this ban permanent post-pandemic. Across the country, casinos are some of the only venues where you can still smoke inside, but workers and the public are increasingly calling for an end to this practice. Earlier this year The Star, who operate casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, announced they would phase out indoor smoking completely by the end of 2022. Tobacco smoke is known to be […]

United Workers Union applauds Victorian Government changes for casual workers – calls on the Federal Government to do more

This morning’s announcement from Daniel Andrews to develop a Secure Work Pilot Scheme is a big step in the right direction for casual workers in Victoria. The United Workers Union represents workers in casual and precarious jobs across many industries including hospitality, warehousing, cleaning and farms. The Union has been calling for greater job security for precarious workers for close to a decade.    The scheme acknowledges insecure work as a driving force of Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 and will allow casual workers to access financial support if they need time away from work because they are sick. Initially, this will be funded by the Victorian state government but will become a scheme that employers also contribute to. The Premier and his government are commended for taking this step and for implementing measures to support casual workers through this crisis.   However, issues of insecure work and access to […]

Industrial action averted at Tasmanian Prison Service after eleventh-hour proposal

The Department of Justice has narrowly avoided industrial action by correctional officers after it came to the table with a reasonable solution to training issues at the Tasmanian Prison Service (TPS). Jannette Armstrong, a spokesperson for United Workers Union (UWU) that represents Tasmanian correctional officers, said the proposal offered to restructure the training department to fix resourcing issues. “The resourcing problems had led to huge backlogs in mandatory safety training, and recruit training which didn’t meet regulation standards for vocational education,” she said. The proposal included a commitment to resolve the mandatory training backlog within 12 months, resolve the qualification gaps and the appointment of an acting Superintendent to lead the reorganisation project. Jannette Armstrong said the Department could have saved itself a lot of trouble by making this commitment to fix the problems sooner. “There were three damning reports released this year highlighting chronic overcrowding and understaffing and the […]


West End brewery workers have voted to take indefinite industrial action as they square up to multinational brewery operation Kirin, the owner of Lion, with 100 workers facing forced redundancy in the midst of the pandemic due to the brewery’s closure. In a notice lodged late yesterday, United Workers Union notified the operators of the historic South Australian brewery that workers were prepared to take “an unlimited number of stoppages of work of indefinite duration”. “These essential workers at West End will be working throughout the latest shutdown – putting their health and their families’ health on the line as they did earlier this year,” United Workers Union food and beverage co-ordinator Mark Whenan said today. “The commitment of West End workers to their jobs and the residents of South Australia has not been matched by the owners of the brewery – Kirin’s bosses only seem committed to giving West […]


One of South Australia’s largest aged care providers, Eldercare, is effectively sacking essential aged care workers who have worked throughout the pandemic, telling them they must resign from their positions if they have another aged care job, the United Workers Union said today. On Monday Eldercare, who describe themselves to prospective employees as “progressive” and providing “outstanding staff benefits”, told workers that they are not able to remain on unpaid leave if they nominated an alternative primary employer, as is required under current Covid-19 restrictions. Eldercare workers have expressed their shock and disappointment that the aged care giant would treat them so harshly in the midst of a Covid-19 outbreak in the state. United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith condemned Eldercare’s decision not to hold the positions of workers who had been banned from working two jobs by the SA Government. “Eldercare cutting these workers’ jobs highlights the […]

Coles workers strike in New South Wales

UPDATE At 5 am this morning workers at Coles Smeaton Grange warehouse in New South Wales started 24-hour rolling work stoppages to improve redundancy in the face of coming automation. In an aggressive response from the company, workers have now been told that Coles is locking them out until February 11, 2021. “This morning, within hours of the strike commencing Coles advised its Smeaton Grange workforce that they would be locked out of the workplace without pay for three months,” said United Workers Union Logistic Director Matt Toner. “This is a cruel and heartless decision that will see essential workers, workers that Coles and government praised so highly during the pandemic, go without pay during Christmas and the New Year. “The UWU is skeptical that Coles will be able to service its Sydney supermarkets while they have locked down their largest NSW warehouse.” Mr Toner said. – Coles workers strike […]


One of Australia’s oldest breakfast food companies, Kellogg’s Australia, is using hardline industrial tactics to threaten essential workers who have worked throughout the pandemic, the United Workers Union said today. Workers at the Kellogg’s manufacturing site at Botany have rejected the intimidation and confirmed their intention to launch a lightning strike tomorrow as they seek a decent pay deal. The site manufactures and packs family breakfast favourites for Kellogg’s, which is behind the brands Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Rice Bubbles, Nutri Grain and Sultana Bran. Late on Friday Kellogg’s threatened to lock out its workforce after workers notified the company of intended legal industrial action following the break down of long-running enterprise bargaining agreement talks. “It’s disappointing Kellogg’s has immediately resorted to the type of hardline industrial threats used in wharf disputes,” Susie Allison, United Workers Union food and beverage director, said today. “Here we have a successful, profitable company that […]

NSW hospitality voucher scheme: Taxpayer money should not line the pockets of known wage thieves

Statement attributable to Karma Lord, spokesperson for Hospo Voice, the hospitality arm of the United Workers Union: “The New South Wales Government’s ‘Out and About’ voucher scheme announced today must not go towards lining the pockets of known wage thieves.  “Some venues do the right thing and look after their staff. But there are others who behave badly and rip their workers off day in day out.  “But patrons can do something about it. Go to our venue-rating site Fair Plate ( to see what’s really happening under the table in your favourite venues and feel good about where you go. “Reviews on Fair Plate helped lift the lid on major wage theft scandals including those with celebrity chefs Shannon Bennett, George Calombaris, Neil Perry and at Sydney’s upscale French restaurant Meu Jardim.  “Hospitality staff have left thousands of reviews to show you which places are stealing wages and treating people badly. So […]

Dairy workers in Bendigo win big after 10 days on strike 

Workers at the Lactalis Dairy factory in Bendigo are essential workers that have kept supermarket shelves stocked with the fresh dairy products they make throughout the global pandemic   Yesterday afternoon, workers voted to accept an improved company offer after 10 days on strike. Over a 2 year and 9-month period workers have won an average annual increase of 6.47%. From October 1, 2022 workers will be a minimum of $232 better off a week, which includes paid meal breaks. The permanent headcount at the Bendigo factory will increase by a third, with close to 30 workers set to transition from insecure casual work to a job they can count on. Workers also wanted to ensure secure permanent jobs would be there for new workers in the future and have won a conversion clause that guarantees permanent jobs for the next generations to come. Workers have been calling for Lactalis, the […]

Andrews Govt must bring Ambulance Victoria into line over paramedic suffering

Ambulance Victoria’s focus on cutbacks and so called ‘KPIs’ at all costs has left paramedics feeling like they are just “a bum in a seat” according to Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) Secretary Brett Adie. Studies highlighted yesterday in a report by the ABC have shown that exposure to trauma is not the only cause of mental health problems for paramedics. Mr Adie said Ambulance Victoria’s (AV) focus on arbitrarily set targets have left paramedics feeling expendable. “If AV Management’s focus on KPI’s is in response to government pressure then the government needs to look more closely at the impact.” he said. “Paramedics regularly feel pressured to attend jobs where they don’t feel safe just to keep average response times down. “The unrelenting focus on KPIs and the AV ‘brand’ results in paramedics not speaking up when they feel at risk. They know that if they speak up they can […]

Melbourne Airport workers kept in the dark about COVID case

Melbourne Airport workers are outraged and angered after learning of a recent COVID case at the airport via the media and word of mouth.  United Workers Union members employed by ISS Security as aviation protection officers have been left fearing for their safety.  ISS Security, the contractor who provides aviation screening at Melbourne Airport, failed to notify their workforce of the COVID-19 incident.  Terminal four at Melbourne Airport has been added to the coronavirus watch list, with a COVID-19 case under investigation as a Melbourne woman has tested positive to the virus in South Australia. Anybody who visited terminal four on Monday afternoon is being asked to get tested if they have any coronavirus symptoms. This morning a health and safety representative, supported by their union, contacted management to urgently raise the matter.  The aviation protection officers are seeking information on the deep clean and the processes carried out in […]


Calvary Bruce Hospital cleaners escalate their fight for fair pay with the introduction of cleaning bans and a protest outside the hospital. Starting today there will be rolling one-hour bans on emptying bins and the replacing and refilling of toilet paper and hand towels. Last Monday, cleaners protested in response to the insulting offer of 5-cent wage increase from the hospital’s cleaning contractor, Compass Medirest. On Friday, the frontline workers postponed industrial action after the company agreed to meet with them and present a fairer offer. However, Compass Medirest has said they will only backpay cleaners once the agreement is registered. After three years without a pay rise, the cleaners cannot afford to wait the many months registration can often take. “This process has made us feel disrespected, humiliated, and undervalued by our employer. Stop playing with our emotions and don’t take us for granted,” said hospital cleaner, Sonam Choden. […]


Yesterday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the State Government would fully fund Victorian kinder services in sessional and Long Day Care centres in 2021. This announcement extends free kindergarten delivered in 2020 to support families during the COVID-19 pandemic to 2021. It will also include funded kindergarten programs in long day care. This means eligible three and four-year-old children attending kinder will have their education and care funded, with families saving around $2,000 in annual fees. Quotes attributable to Helen Gibbons, United Workers Union Early Childhood Education and Care Director: “This is a welcome announcement in ensuring access to high quality early learning in Victoria, regardless of setting. The Victorian Government is investing in secure jobs in the hard-working critical early education workforce. “Every child deserves quality early education and care, and the best start possible in life. This is an investment in families and children, but also an investment […]


South Australian essential workers in the public sector have told the Marshall Liberal Government it must address rampant understaffing, reject any further privatisations and renounce cuts to vital services in tomorrow’s SA Budget. “Public sector health, aged care and disability support workers have had enough of being understaffed, seeing poor service in privatisations, and seeing hours for vital aged care services being cut back,” Paul Blackmore, United Workers Union public sector coordinator said today. “The reward for essential workers who turned up every day through Covid-19 should not be reduced hours, understaffing and higher workloads. “The fact hours have been cut in aged care facilities should raise concerns about the ability of workers to provide the necessary quality of care.” Last month members launched their Secure Jobs for Essential Workers campaign. More than 1400 people have now signed a petition calling on the Marshall Government to support essential SA public […]


The apparent relaxation of a ban on South Australian aged care workers taking on two jobs leaves aged care workers at a serious financial disadvantage heading into Christmas, United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith said today. “The slippery wording of this ‘relaxation’ of the two-jobs ban does nothing to address the financial burden of the pandemic aged care workers have been expected to carry since the ban was announced in August,” Ms Smith said. “The real effect of terms such as ‘to the extent reasonably possible’ personal care workers should not work across two facilities means regularly-employed personal care workers will remain blocked from working two jobs. “The upshot will be to leave it to even more agency workers visiting multiple aged care facilities to paper over the cracks. “It’s unfair and not a real long-term solution to the fundamental problems facing aged care workers and aged care […]

‘We want a commitment for our town’: Dairy workers to strike in Bendigo to protect dairy industry jobs and improve wages

‘We want a commitment for our town’: Dairy workers to strike in Bendigo to protect dairy industry jobs and improve wages 140 dairy processing workers at Lactalis’s Bendigo plant will begin indefinite strike action this morning. The workers, who are members of the United Workers Union (UWU), have worked throughout the Covid lockdown to ensure ongoing supply of fresh milk and dairy products to Victoria. Now they’re fighting for a decent wage that reflects their role as essential workers and starts to close the pay gap with other Lactalis sites. Workers are also fighting for secure long-term jobs in Bendigo. They want a commitment from Lactalis – one of the world’s biggest Dairy Companies – that if the company decides to leave the Bendigo site, the factory will not be “mothballed”, but open to expressions of interest from other interested Dairy operators. Over the last decade there have been several […]


As Melbourne’s hospitality industry reopens a new union report has revealed 77 percent of hospitality workers believe a permanent and secure job is either very or extremely important, showing that the industry’s dramatic shutdown in March has had a profound impact. The report by Hospo Voice, the United Workers Union’s hospitality arm, is based on national surveys with 4281 workers during the pandemic and busts one of the hospitality industry’s biggest myths: that the irregularity of hospitality work is a lifestyle choice by workers. Overwhelmingly, workers report that a regular and reliable income is vitally important. The findings come as the Federal Government’s proposed industrial relations reforms are expected to announce “part time flexibility” measures rather than address the systemic issues of insecure work and widespread wage theft. The report, entitled #RebuildHospo: A Post-Covid Roadmap For Secure Jobs In Hospitality, reveals that during the pandemic the number of workers who […]


Prompted by revelations of workplace discrimination and harassment within its ranks, Ambulance Victoria has now called for an independent review by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission (VEOHRC) into its frameworks, which AEAV Secretary Brett Adie says has allowed disturbing behaviours and actions to go unchallenged for too long. “Bullying and workplace harassment is rife inside Ambulance Victoria and it must stop,” says Brett Adie, Secretary of the union for ambulance workers, Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV). “AEAV has received a number of complaints from our members in recent months involving discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment, and much of it is still happening today. “We’re concerned that the culture within Ambulance Victoria and management practices create an environment where blatant discrimination against paramedics by managers is routine. “AEAV welcomes this review into sexual harassment and discrimination which is long overdue, but its scope must be expanded to address […]


United Workers Union condemns the Marshall Liberal Government decision to axe the incredibly popular Adelaide 500. The event has been run for over two decades and has been an enormous driver of economic activity for South Australia. The decision is a further blow to the Events, Hospitality and Accommodation sectors in South Australia already devastated by the impacts of Covid-19. “While Covid-19 has had a huge impact on events globally, there are creative ways to continue events and their related employment opportunities,” United Workers Union SA state secretary Demi Pnevmatikos said. “Both major football codes held their football finals last weekend and the Melbourne Cup is on Tuesday – showing just how short-sighted this decision is for Adelaide.” Workers and businesses in the Events, Hospitality and Accommodation sectors have struggled to survive since March and had been looking forward to a return to some level of normal activity in 2021. […]


Calvary Hospital’s cleaners walked off the job in the Australian Capital Territory today in response to contractor Compass Medirest’s disrespectful 5¢ pay offer. Last Thursday the cleaners protested outside the hospital, calling on Calvary and the contractor to respect them. Given the complete lack of action on the part of both hospital management and their chosen cleaning contractor, cleaners have little choice but to take industrial action. “People have thanked cleaners throughout the pandemic,” says Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union Director for Property Services, “They’ve thanked them for working on the frontline, for keeping our communities safe, for helping to stop the spread of the virus. “But thanks is not enough. Talk is cheap, and that’s exactly what Calvary’s cleaning contractor is – cheap and disrespectful. “The cleaners at Calvary Hospital are paid significantly less than their counterparts over at Canberra Hospital, despite the fact that they are doing the […]


MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY, 4 pm AEDT Thursday 29 October 2020 WHERE: Outside Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Electorate Office – 30 The Kingsway Cronulla, NSW, 2230 WHAT:  Home care workers will deliver a petition signed by 2000 home care workers, families and clients demanding home care waitlists be cleared and urgent action taken to rebuild the home care system. WHO: Home care workers will give speeches and be available for comment. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. United Workers Union home care members deliver a petition of 2000 signatures of home care workers, clients and families to the Prime Minister’s office to send a strong message to the public and politicians that home care waitlists need to be cleared. We need to rebuild a better, fairer system that provides quality and dignity of care and values the skills of the workforce. There are currently more […]


In the Australian Capital Territory, hospital cleaners protested outside Calvary Bruce Hospital in response to contractor Compass Medirest’s insulting offer of a 5-cent wage increase and their attempts to block lawful industrial action. Calvary Bruce Hospital cleaners have been trying to negotiate a wage increase for months and are on a base rate of $22.02 per hour. This is significantly lower than their counterparts at Canberra Hospital. After months of negotiating, Compass Medirest threw a 5-cent wage increase offer on the table, forcing cleaners to seek a meeting with hospital management. Calvary refused, leaving cleaners with no other pathway but industrial action. Hospital cleaners plan to walk off the job for 24 hours on Monday, insulted by a pay offer that leaves them well behind their counterparts at Canberra Hospital, despite performing the same role. Yesterday, Compass Medirest made an application to the Fair Work Commission to prevent them from […]


More than 60 per cent of aged care workers report they face unfilled shifts at their facilities every single day, highlighting the urgency surrounding recommendations made to the Aged Care Royal Commission today. “A snap poll of more than 400 aged care workers shows aged care is stretched to breaking point,” United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith said today. “Minimum staffing levels – as recommended by the counsel assisting the Royal Commission – is a necessary first step to addressing chronic understaffing across the sector. “Workers and residents should not have to wait until July 1, 2022 for these changes to take place. The disaster is unfolding right here, right now.” Ms Smith welcomed the positive role for unions identified by the counsel assisting the Royal Commission, and said the fine detail of the recommended measures would need to be examined to ensure they resulted in real wage […]

Security officers gagged by Tasmania state service contractor

Workers are protesting the unsafe working conditions and job insecurity experienced by gagged security officers in the Tasmanian state service. Today United Workers Union members placed 90 cardboard cut-outs of security officers outside Launceston General Hospital, representing the 90 officers contracted by the state service across Tasmania, including at the hospital. Due to a strict media policy enforced by the contractor Wilson Security, these officers are unable to speak out.  Quotes attributable to United Workers Union Property Services Spokesperson Sarah Ellis: “Dodgy contractors sacrifice the health and safety of their workers to cut costs and turn a higher profit. You do not gag workers unless there is something to hide. “These workers are experiencing dangerous levels of understaffing, where security officers are escorting incarcerated persons on their own, whilst police and corrections officers are always in pairs. Because they are unable to speak of their safety concerns, we are speaking […]

Canberra Airport guards stood down for Covid-19 questions

Two Canberra security guards who raised legitimate health-and-safety questions about a Covid-19 case who transited through Canberra Airport have been stood aside by their employer pending a disciplinary hearing. “Two airport security guards fulfilling their role as health-and-safety representatives at the airport have been threatened by their employer for daring to ask questions about  a Covid-19 case who attended their work site,” United Workers Union property services director Lyndal Ryan said today. “Canberra Airport and its security contractor Certis Security have to be condemned in the strongest terms for a reaction that is likely to be completely unlawful.” Two health-and-safety representatives employed by Certis Security wrote to Canberra Airport Group on Thursday, after reports emerged this week that a Covid-19 case travelled through the airport on October 7. Their letter requested information about the incident under the consultation provisions of the Work Health and Safety Act – section 70 (1) […]


Quotes attributable to Mark Whenan, South Australian Coordinator of Food and Beverages, United Workers Union United Workers Union members at West End Brewery were shocked to hear today that Lion is scrapping this iconic South Australian brewery that was started more than 160 years ago. We are still working through what this means to our members at the brewery and how they want to proceed. However, the facts of the matter are that workers at West End brewery have continued to turn up every single day throughout the pandemic, delivering for their employer, Lion. In response, the company is savagely cutting their livelihoods. This move is a massive betrayal to their workforce and the South Australian community after the company received tens of millions of taxpayer money for an upgrade to the site. Lion has an obligation to their hardworking employees and to the South Australian community to provide good […]

Essential workers tell SA Govt: We deserve job security

After working throughout the pandemic SA public sector health, aged care and disability support workers are telling the Marshall Government: essential workers deserve job security. “SA public sector health and aged care workers have been a vital defence in the fight against Covid-19,” Paul Blackmore, United Workers Union public sector coordinator said today. “You would think after all this hard work they would be supported by the Marshall Government, but the government has repeatedly ignored their requests for a fair deal.” In a sign of mounting anger, public sector workers today gathered at Lyell McEwin Hospital to launch their “Secure Jobs for Essential Workers” campaign and a petition calling for action. In their new agreement public sector workers are demanding no further outsourcing or privatisation, no staff cuts, a fair wage increase and special Covid-19 provisions including paid pandemic leave and measures to ensure adequate staffing levels. Mr Blackmore said […]


Today Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced Labor’s budget reply, shining a light on low wages in the early childhood education sector. Educators have welcomed Labor’s commitments to making early education more affordable for families, a roadmap for universal access to early education, a more stable sector and importantly, a plan to review educator wages. United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons said, “Labor’s budget reply recognises the crucial role of early childhood education in our communities and our economy. This is a welcome counterpoint to Scott Morrison’s Federal Budget, which disappointed millions of educators and families with no announcement or recognition for the sector. “Throughout this pandemic, educators have worked every day to provide quality early education and care while keeping children and communities safe from infection. In response, the Federal Government have left educators out in the cold. Early educators were the first workers cut off from JobKeeper, and the Federal […]


It only took five days for the Federal Government to break its promise to look after people in aged care during Covid-19, United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today. “Richard Colbeck has broken a promise to aged care residents and workers within a week,” Ms Smith said. “That’s astounding neglect, even for this Government’s lack of responsibility for the crisis in aged care.” Last Thursday the Federal Government committed to adopting all Aged Care Royal Commission recommendations about addressing Covid-19 in aged care facilities. Yet Tuesday night’s Budget contained no allocated spending on a key Royal Commission recommendation about funding providers to ensure adequate staffing to allow more meaningful visits for residents. “Residents are literally dying of loneliness, the Federal Government commits to help them and yet the very next week there are no specific funds set aside in the Budget to live up to the promise,” […]

Morrison Budget sees lowest-paid raiding super to fund high-income tax cuts

Tim Kennedy, United Workers Union National Secretary said: “After saying that ‘we are all in this together’, and witnessing the sacrifice of essential workers who have carried Australia through this crisis, this Government has presented a budget that looks after the wealthy, is unfair and fails to deliver the long-term economic security workers need to see Australia through this crisis and beyond. “The Treasurer has chosen to favour tax cuts for high-income earners over real support for workers, and rely on everyday Australians raiding their super to prop up our economy. We know income tax cuts simply bolster the retirement accounts of Australia’s wealthiest. What we need is Government investment that gets people into good secure jobs. “The entire country has seen the vital role United Workers Union frontline workers play in keeping our economy running through this crisis. Now, more than ever, we need a Federal Government that will […]


Aged care workers are challenging Minister Richard Colbeck to take a first simple step to fix the crisis in aged care: meet with workers and listen to their solutions. “After multiple letters to Richard Colbeck this year, aged care workers have not had the courtesy of a response,” United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today. “Listening to aged care workers is vital to understanding the failures in aged care Senator Colbeck is responsible for. “Senator Colbeck has spent a lot of time ducking his responsibility for this crisis – it’s time he looked aged care workers in the eye and heard from them what’s going on. “Aged care workers are challenging Senator Colbeck to meet as a matter of urgency to discuss their solutions.” Ms Smith made the comments while launching the National Aged Care Staffing Master Plan covering aged care workers in Queensland, Western Australia, South […]

United Workers Union stands in solidarity with School Strike 4 Climate

Statement attributable to Jo Schofield, National President of the United Workers Union: United Workers Union stands in solidarity with the students fighting for action on the climate crisis. Climate justice is an issue for our union because it is about equality. Fighting for equality is why trade unions exist – and why we have existed for a hundred years. We are seeing a world – and a country – that has become more unequal. Corporate greed has led to the plundering of our resources in the interests of profit, not planet or people. In Australia, the Federal Government has chosen to support tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations over the injection of funds to transform our economy and create good, sustainable jobs. Corporate greed has led to the abuse of human rights around the globe, and an attack on trade unions and workers’ rights to organise. At a time when the […]

Online rally calls on UTAS to reverse dangerous 296-hour cut to cleaning time

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY Thursday 10 September at 3:30 pm AEST WHERE: Live stream at WHAT: Cleaners and union members across Australia participate in a virtual picket line calling on the University of Tasmania to reverse their cuts to cleaning hours. WHO: Impacted cleaners Anna Reay, Sudha Giri Puri and Maree Cummings, and United Workers Union spokesperson Sarah Ellis. Cleaners from the University of Tasmania (UTAS) will rally online today, demanding Vice-Chancellor Rufus Black reverse the dangerous 296-hour cut to cleaning time on campuses.  This cut to cleaning time is not only a significant slashing of livelihoods, but also threatens Tasmania’s COVID-free status.  When cleaners spoke up about their concern for the health and safety of students and staff, UTAS falsely claimed that the union members were lying.  “We want UTAS to tell the truth,” says cleaner Anna Reay, whose hours have been reduced by 40 per cent at the Newnham campus. “It’s a kick […]


Queensland workers have welcomed State Parliament passing new wage theft laws today that will see bosses found to steal pay from workers face jail time. United Workers Union – the union for workers in industries rife with wage theft, such as hospitality, security, cleaning, food production and more – welcomed the laws passing after years of campaigning by members. The new laws recognise the many forms of wage theft committed by employers, including underpayment, unpaid trials, withholding super, sham contracting, expired agreements, and not paying penalty rates and other entitlements. Sunshine Coast hospitality worker Tara Small, a member of United Workers Union’s hospitality arm Hospo Voice, said it was a huge day for workers who had their wages stolen by dodgy bosses. “Bosses who steal wages should go to jail, it’s as simple as that,” Ms Small said. “These laws passed by the Queensland Government today mean our bosses will […]

Agriculture Workers’ Code – no solution without visa amnesty and quarantine support

Statement attributable to Jannette Armstrong, United Workers Union Farms Director, regarding the National Cabinet update on the Agriculture Workers’ Code.  Agriculture Minister David Littleproud presented an agricultural code to the National Cabinet today. While this is a positive move, it does not go far enough to meaningfully address the labour crisis in our horticulture sector. Without steps to resolve and regularise the visa status of tens of thousands of farmworkers who have been working and residing in Australia for years, many workers will still not be able to cross borders. Without a visa amnesty, too many farmworkers will remain unemployed and the high quality, local fresh fruit and vegetables Australians need will be left to rot in the fields. Despite paying taxes in Australia, these workers have had no access to Federal Government support during the COVID-19 downturn – no JobKeeper, no JobSeeker – and have been cut off from […]


News of a positive COVID-19 test by an aged care worker in Laidley in South East Queensland highlights the risks aged care workers are facing every day they go to work, United Workers Union’s aged care director Carolyn Smith said today. “Our thoughts are with the residents, families and workers of the affected facility after this terrible news today,” Ms Smith said. “We have seen how devastating coronavirus can be inside aged care. “What we need to see now from the Queensland and Federal Governments is that lessons have been learned from the aged care disasters in NSW and Victoria.” Ms Smith said these lessons include: Availability and use of adequate personal protective equipment. Provision of specialist infection control teams. Consideration of speedy removal to hospital of any resident affected by coronavirus. Provision of a trained and adequate alternative workforce if workers are forced to quarantine. “We will be seeking […]

Australia’s COVID-19 sparked recession – now is not the time to scale back JobKeeper

Workers, who have been left in the lurch with a reduced rate and even harsher eligibility as JobKeeper changes passed in Parliament yesterday, have today learned of Australia’s first recession in 30 years. JobKeeper changes are due to come into effect nationwide in less than four weeks’ time, despite the fact Melbourne is currently still under strict lockdown and the threat of COVID-19 remains across the country. Employers have also been given the power to cut workers’ hours even if revenue has nearly returned to pre-COVID operations. From September 28, payments for part-timers (working less than 20 hours) will fall to $750 a fortnight from the end of the month, then to $650 a fortnight at the start of next year. The full-time JobKeeper payment will fall to $1,200 a fortnight, followed by a further drop at the beginning of January 2021 to $1,000. These changes during this unprecedented economic […]

Educators petition Dan Tehan for a wage guarantee on Early Childhood Educators’ Day

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: TODAY, Wednesday 2 September at 10:15 am WHERE: Parliament House Lawns, Canberra WHAT:  Educators will be taking action on the Parliament House Lawns, setting up a display featuring their qualifications and messages to the Federal Government about why they feel hung out to dry, before delivering a petition to Dan Tehan with over 10,000 signatures calling on more support for educators in lockdown. WHO: Workers in early childhood education and care. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. Today Australia celebrates frontline workers in early education on Early Childhood Educators’ Day. But this year, early childhood educators feel hung out to dry by the Federal Government during the COVID-19 crisis. Educators were the first workers to be cut from JobKeeper, and have faced months of uncertainty and financial hardship.  Over 10,000 people signed a petition in support of Victorian educators in just a few […]

United Workers Union welcomes launch of Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT

The United Workers Union welcomes today’s launch of the ACT Government’s “Set up for Success: An Early Childhood Strategy for the ACT”. UWU’s Helen Gibbons said, “The launch of this strategy shows the ACT Government is valuing educators and valuing children. “Most importantly, this strategy acknowledges the link between valuing early childhood educators and better outcomes for children. Quality early childhood education and care is a vital cornerstone for our society. “The ACT Government’s approach is based on the overwhelming evidence that quality early childhood education and care makes a significant developmental impact on children. “The Union welcomes the strategy’s recognition of the significant contributions of early childhood educators to children, families, communities and our society. “By recognising the direct, positive educational and developmental impact the workforce has on children, the ACT Government can improve outcomes for children by supporting educators.” The new ACT Government strategy outlines the ACT Government’s […]

Aged Carers Speak Out: ‘Thank You Is Not Enough’

Aged care workers across Australia are speaking out about the appalling conditions they face while working in aged care, sending a message to employers and politicians: “Thank you is not enough.” In a week of action, aged care workers are sharing their stories of the challenges they face working in the historically understaffed, underfunded and underpaid sector. Based on the annual Aged Care Workers Day on September 2, aged care workers are telling the Federal Government that gratitude without addressing a broken system is just empty words. South Australian aged care worker Ehying says: “In a 12-hour shift I sometimes walk more than 25,000 steps as I provide care to those I care for. “I have been a personal care attendant for 19 years and I love my job. “But the expectations on carers are too high and there’s not enough time to do the job properly. Thank you is […]

United Workers Union releases new report detailing issues of workplace surveillance and insecure work

The report titled “Technology and Power: Understanding Issues of Insecure Work and Technological Change in Australian Workplaces” was submitted to the NSW Inquiry on technological change and the future of work.  The report brings together worker case studies across a range of diverse industries to highlight themes including surveillance, automation, platform-based management, data collection, and the gig economy.  In particular, the extensive use of punitive surveillance is identified as a widespread and complex issue for UWU members. Surveillance is shown to take many forms ranging from medical and biometric surveillance, to invasive use of security cameras and new trends emerging amid COVID-19 working from home arrangements.  The report finds that in the context of insecure work, these technological trends have the capacity to further erode the employment relationship and the quality of jobs on offer. In this context, technological change is closely linked to work intensification and unsafe work practices.  […]

Severe reduction in cleaning time at UTAS will cost livelihoods and threaten Tasmania’s COVID-free status

Starting today, the University of Tasmania (UTAS) will slash cleaning hours by 40%, courtesy of the questionable ethics of Rufus Black, the Vice-Chancellor, and the mismanagement of finances by his predecessor, Peter Rathjen. This is a significant blow to the livelihoods of cleaners who have been working hard to keep students and staff safe throughout this pandemic. In response, UTAS students have launched a petition calling out the Vice-Chancellor’s lack of respect for cleaners and the potential risks posed by these cuts. The UTAS Sandy Bay campus was informed of the decision last week and the UTAS northern campuses, Newnham and Inveresk, are expected to receive the same news as their southern colleagues today. “We have bent over backwards for UTAS, keeping the uni safe,” says cleaner Anna Reay, who has worked at UTAS Newnham and Inveresk campuses for four years. “It’s devastating that they are doing this to us and putting students […]


The Marshall Government’s ban on aged carers working second jobs is a “day of distress” for carers and the residents they care for, United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today. From today (EDS: August 27), residential aged care workers are banned from working in a second residential aged care facility in South Australia. Unlike a similar ban imposed in Victoria and subsequent financial hardship and staffing measures, there has been no package to address the considerable impact of the bans on the already low-paid aged care workforce and short-staffed facilities. “Workers and residents are suffering because of the state and Federal Government’s poor planning for this crisis,” Ms Smith said. “Five months in, this state government is summarily banning workers from jobs with no plans for an additional workforce to cover the gaps. “Once again, some of Australia’s lowest-paid workers are being asked to bear the economic […]

Officeworks distribution centre workers strike for job security

On Monday 24 August, more than 275 Officeworks distribution centre workers commenced a 24 hour work stoppage. The protected industrial action affects three warehouses which replenish the stock in Officeworks stores and fulfill online customer orders across the country: North Rocks and Yennora NSW, and Laverton Victoria. Workers are striking for secure jobs and redundancy provisions amid concerns about the future outsourcing of their work on inferior wages and conditions. Workers are also calling for community members to support the action by not shopping at Officeworks, either online or in person, on Monday 24 August. Striking workers under lockdown in Victoria will hold an online picket line via Facebook Live to share their stories of why they are taking strike action. Live stream begins at 12:15 pm AEST, open to the public at Direct link: To date, Officeworks has offered sub-inflation wage increases with cuts to overtime penalties […]

Hardship fund at The Star pays out $2.8M to casino workers 

Hundreds of casino workers across Sydney and South East Queensland have avoided financial distress thanks to a hardship fund negotiated by the United Workers Union and The Star. More than 600 workers across the Sydney, Gold Coast and Treasury (Brisbane) casinos received crucial payments from The Star, totalling $2.8 million, to help relieve financial stress as a result of the COVID crisis. The casino industry was one of the hardest hit by government shut-downs, with the vast majority of Australian casino workers stood down since March as a result. Many of these workers were ineligible for any Federal Government assistance. Quotes attributable to United Workers Union Casinos Director Dario Mujkic:  “For some workers, these payments have been the difference between there being food on the table and going hungry. “This crisis is not over. While the Morrison Government has turned its back on workers, we need big and profitable employers to step […]

Hospitality workers plea to Senate Committee: We can’t afford to lose JobKeeper

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: Midday TODAY, Thursday 20 August. WHERE: A live broadcast of the public hearing is available here. WHAT: Hospitality workers tell the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 that now is not the time to scale back income support for those who are already struggling. Now is the time to extend this support for all casuals, temporary visa workers and international students – workers who have been left behind with no support during this health pandemic. WHO: United Workers Union members Josephine Annink, Chris Ball and Adam Quill will be sharing their stories of working in the precarious hospitality industry during COVID-19 and the important lifeline JobKeeper has been. Hospitality workers have appealed to the Senate Select Committee and the Federal Government to not scale back the JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs thousands of workers are relying on, but instead, extend it to those who have been left behind – casuals working less than 12 […]

More than 275 Officeworks distribution centre workers to take strike action for job security

On Tuesday 18 August, Officeworks distribution centre workers endorsed protected action across sites in Victoria and New South Wales. On Monday 24 August, approximately 275 workers will take a 24-hour stoppage across three sites: North Rocks and Yennora NSW, and Laverton Victoria. These three distribution centres replenish the stock in Officeworks stores and fulfill online customer orders across the country. Workers have voted to take protected action for secure jobs and redundancy provisions amid concerns about the future outsourcing of their work on inferior wages and conditions. To date, Officeworks has offered sub-inflation wage increases with cuts to overtime penalties and no protection for future job security. This comes at a time when Officeworks is recording record pandemic profits; increased sales totals of 27 per cent in the past five months. As frontline essential workers, Officeworks distribution centre workers have continued to work throughout the pandemic even as the company […]


The devastating impact of aged care workers being banned from two jobs has been revealed in major meetings of SA aged care workers in the last two days. “We are seeing members who face huge financial and emotional penalties from this decision,” United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith said today. “If a household is losing $1000 a week, you know that means money for essentials will be hit hard. This hasty decision is even threatening some workers’ ability to stay in Australia. “Aged care workers have been turning up every day to protect Australia’s most vulnerable during this crisis. “Instead of rewarding aged care workers, Premier Steven Marshall is punishing aged care workers by cutting their jobs with no plan to address shortfalls. “Our meeting with the SA Health Department this week shows there has been no plan to address the impact of these cuts on frontline aged […]

ACT union members welcome hardship fund, COVID-19 training

United Workers Union welcomes the ACT Government’s announcement to fund workers’ rights training for the hospitality sector and a hardship fund for workers without annual or sick leave. Workers forced to quarantine due to coronavirus will be able to apply for payments of up to $1,500. Clarification is still needed on whether the fund will cover the two days required for COVID-19 testing and employers should fill this gap if it does not. Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union ACT spokesperson said, “All workers right now should be imagining what their employer would need to do if a COVID-19 case was found in their workplace. Most workers don’t know what to expect from their employer, or what their rights are in that situation.” “Ensuring workers know their rights and can keep each other safe to prevent and deal with an infection is critical for our community’s safety. Government-supported training will equip […]

Workers rally to stop sham contracting

Statewide Quality Services, a mainland contractor, is stealing night cleaners’ wages through sham contracts at Glenorchy Central in Tasmania.   Workers, supported by the cleaners’ union United Workers Union, will rally outside the shopping centre today, calling on the property owner SCA Property Group to stop this exploitation of their cleaners.   SCA Property Group has a portfolio worth over $3 billion dollars and can afford to do the right thing. Quotes attributable to United Workers Union Property Services spokesperson Sarah Ellis: “We’ve had numerous reports from the Nepalese community that sham contracting is happening at Glenorchy Central and multiple other sites in the Greater Hobart area. “This appears to be a classic case of discrimination. Many of Glenorchy Centre’s cleaners are migrant workers, a group often targeted by dodgy contractors because they do not always know their workplace rights, such as the right to join a union. “Cleaners at Glenorchy Central have […]

Golden Farms workers demand answers over colleague’s death

MEDIA STATEMENT United Workers Union mourns the tragic death of a long-time union member who worked at the Geelong poultry processing plant, Golden Farms Turosi. We have chosen to not name the employee out of respect for the family. United Workers Union extends our deepest sympathies to all of the member’s family, friends and colleagues during this difficult time. Recently Golden Farms shut down following the identification of a number of positive COVID-19 cases at the worksite. The Union understands that at the time of death the employee was isolating as a result of contracting COVID-19. Workers are demanding Golden Farms provide answers on whether the employee contracted the virus at Golden Farms. If the cause of death is determined to be related to contracting COVID-19 at his workplace, then workers stand ready to fight for justice for their co-worker. The news has created understandable anxiety for fellow workers. To avoid further cases, and potential deaths, […]


Workers have today shared shocking stories of wage theft at the hands of some of the state’s high profile employers, as public hearings begin for the Queensland Parliament’s proposed new wage theft laws. United Workers Union, which represents workers in industries rife with wage theft such as security, cleaning, food processing, hospitality and more, has been pushing for strong laws to be passed in Parliament to crack down on dodgy bosses using it as a business model. The Parliamentary Inquiry has recognised the many ways workers can experience wage theft, including underpayment, unpaid trials, withholding super, sham contracting, expired agreements, and not paying penalty rates and other entitlements. The Mantle Group is one high profile company that has been using wage theft as a business model for years, including at their Brisbane Pig ‘n’ Whistle venues. Former Pig ‘n’ Whistle employee Declan Langlands was dismissed from the restaurant for refusing […]

Brisbane Airport contractor must reinstate cleaning service during COVID-19 

Brisbane Airport’s cleaning company SECUREclean cancelled an essential service to profiteer, while risking their workers’ safety.   Whilst adapting to COVID safe practices to protect the community, cleaners were being directed to change and clean nappy and sanitary bins – a job previously completed by a specialised service. SECUREclean had ceased the service of the company who were changing the bins prior to COVID-19 – clearly putting profits before its people.  When United Workers Union members raised this issue, the Union initiated a health and safety inspection.  Quotes attributable to United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie: “This disregard for workers’ safety is unacceptable at a time when the world is in crisis and these workers have been fronting up to work every day in a high-risk environment. “SECUREclean, who are responsible for cleaning Brisbane airport, is another example of a greedy contractor cutting corners. “But Queensland workers are ready […]

Federal Government announcement has no guarantees for educators

  Empty promises of an employment guarantee to educators did nothing to reassure early educators that they will be paid over the next six weeks. This week both the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison acknowledged the importance of an employment guarantee for workers in early childhood education. Early educators have been on the frontline of this pandemic, ensuring essential workers can go to work and our economy continued to function. But last month the Federal Government singled out early educators as the one sector to lose access to JobKeeper. Instead, the Government introduced a transitional payment where funding is directed to centres. This transitional payment doesn’t require any employer to pay workers a single cent of that taxpayer-funded payment. Now that Stage 4 restrictions have been announced in Victoria, job losses and stand-downs are real concerns for hundreds of thousands of Victorian workers. Other sectors have […]

Spotless Dandenong workers to be paid through their shutdown

After news of a fourth worker testing positive for COVID-19 at Spotless Dandenong, Spotless laundry employees have won the right to be paid while the workplace is shut and under quarantine. Significantly, workers who refused to attend work last Wednesday and Thursday due to concerns of contracting COVID-19 will be granted paid leave for those days. In addition, every Spotless Dandenong worker, full-time, part-time or casual, will receive a minimum of $150 per day even where they have run out or otherwise cannot access leave. Any Spotless casual worker who is not otherwise eligible for the State and Federal payment schemes for whatever reason will be paid by the company. Questions remain as to what will happen with labour hire casual workers who attended the workplace during the infectious period. The Union understands the fourth COVID case involves a labour hire worker. Consultation with workers around safely re-opening the workplace […]

240 Woolworths liquor distribution workers walk off the job over safety concerns

More than 240 Woolworths warehouse workers at a Laverton Distribution Centre have taken legal cease work action this morning after a reported positive COVID-19 case on Friday night. The busy site provides alcohol to Dan Murphy’s and BWS stores across the state. Workers met this morning to discuss if Woolworths had done enough following the case to ensure their safety, concluding the mega-corporation was not doing enough to uphold their duty to keep their employees safe. On Saturday, United Workers Union gave Woolworths a list of demands from workers on the actions they would need to take to make them safe. The list included a 72 hour deep clean in line with industry standards, to be observed by DHHS and health and safety representatives, all workers to be tested for COVID-19 during the shutdown for cleaning and all new agency, contractors and employees commencing work at the site to be tested. Woolworths has so far refused many of […]

Early educators petition Government for JobKeeper during lockdown in Victoria

Thousands of educators across the country are calling on the Federal and State Government to reinstate JobKeeper for Early Childhood Educators in Victoria for the length of the Stage 4 restrictions. Yesterday Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that as of Thursday, early childhood services in Melbourne will close, except for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. Workers in early childhood education have already lost access to JobKeeper, meaning tens of thousands of educators working in federally-funded long day care services across Melbourne are facing today’s announcement with no guarantee of income for at least the next 6 weeks. United Workers Union is calling on the State and Federal Government to extend JobKeeper to early educators in Victoria, with a petition launched only last night gathering more than 5,000 signatures and counting. UWU’ Early Childhood Education and Care Director Helen Gibbons said: “The Government did not listen to the sector […]

Car convoy to Woolworths headquarters presents petition for wage equality

MEDIA ALERT: Car convoy to Woolworths headquarters presents petition for wage equality WHEN: 9:30 am – 10 am Monday 3 August, 2020 WHERE: 1 Woolworths Way, Bella Vista 2153 WHAT: A car convoy of workers and community supporters drive to Woolworths’ head office in support of workers currently locked out. United Workers Union delegates present a petition of over 4,500 signatures in favour of wage equality to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Brad Banducci. WHO: United Workers Union spokesperson Brad Donnelly will be available on-site for comment. NOTE: Everyone attending this event will be expected to adhere to current social distancing guidelines. Last Thursday Woolworths locked out it’s Wyong Distribution Centre workforce indefinitely. The move came after workers angered the company by taking legal industrial action for 24 hours on July 24, in a bid to win wage equality with workers just one hour away in Sydney. Workers chose only a short stoppage […]

Melbourne educators could be abandoned without pay

Today Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that as of Thursday, early childhood services in Melbourne will close, except for children of essential workers and vulnerable children. Workers in early childhood education have already lost access to JobKeeper, meaning tens of thousands of educators working in federally-funded long day care services across Melbourne are facing today’s announcement with no guarantee of income for at least the next 6 weeks. Early education was the first sector the Morrison Government kicked off JobKeeper. The current 25% transition payment to centres is not enough to cover the loss of income in a Stage 4 lockdown. This leaves tens of thousands of Melbourne educators at risk of being stood down without pay. United Workers Union is calling on the State and Federal Governments to immediately guarantee early childhood educators’ wages. These essential workers must be provided the same safety net offered to workers in […]

Woolworths punishes workers and community by locking out Wyong DC strikers indefinitely

Late last night Woolworths notified it’s Wyong Distribution Centre workforce, who had been forced to be on strike since last Friday, they would be locking the door indefinitely. The move comes after workers angered the company by taking legal industrial action for 24 hours on July 24, in a bid to win wage equality with workers just one hour away in Sydney. Workers chose only a short stoppage to not interrupt supply during the pandemic, clearly not a concern shared by Woolworths. The lockdown by Woolworths was already causing shortages in stores across the Central Coast in the last week, so this latest intimidation move is likely to worsen a deepening crisis for the locals who rely on the supermarket giant. Workers were ready to make a deal on Thursday, but Woolworths wasn’t interested in going even halfway towards wage equality. The company barely improved its offer, with only a […]

Spotless Dandenong shut down after laundry workers stand up for COVID safety

The Spotless Dandenong laundry has been shut down after a Department of Health and Human Services investigation into the company’s handling of three positive cases at the site. Union members took a stand for their safety and the safety of the community, refusing to go to work until the outbreak had been properly investigated. Health authorities have advised any worker who has spent more than 30 minutes at the site since July 6 is considered a close contact, who must be tested and remain in quarantine for 14 days. The site was shut down at close of business yesterday (Thursday 30 July), but workers still don’t know what entitlements they will receive. Attribute to United Workers Union Director Godfrey Moase: “Spotless was forced to act because union members took a stand. If it wasn’t for the workers, this outbreak could have been much worse. “Spotless Dandenong workers are low-wage migrant […]

Move on aged care workforce could hinder pandemic effort

Hasty moves to stop aged care workers from working in multiple aged care facilities in Queensland threaten to hinder efforts to combat the pandemic, United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today. “Like most Australians, we express the gravest concerns and sympathies about the outbreak in aged care facilities in Victoria and support the need for the highest vigilance in protecting Australia’s most vulnerable,” Ms Smith said. “We also understand the imperative to have workers based in one centre only. “However the recent history of St Basil’s in Victoria shows that you are taking a risk when you attempt to overhaul existing staffing numbers and structures without thinking through the consequences. “The aged care system was already in crisis due to staff shortages before the pandemic hit. Now it’s extremely vulnerable to even the slightest cutbacks in staff. “You must have a back-up plan if you are forcing […]

Spotless withdraws Fair Work application, while Dandenong public health issues continue

Dandenong laundry contractor Spotless has today withdrawn its Fair Work application to cease industrial action, after workers stood up for their safety following multiple confirmed COVID-19 cases at the site. The withdrawal of this s 418 application does not solve the underlying safety and public health issues at the site but is a necessary step towards doing so. The Department of Health and Human Services have attended the workplace today but the Union has not yet been consulted by the Department. It is understood the investigation is ongoing. Workers who had been in close contact with the positive cases had previously been directed by the employer to attend work on Tuesday and Wednesday, but have now been directed to quarantine for 14 days. The Union understands Spotless will make workers use up their annual leave, personal leave or take unpaid time off work if they are not eligible for leave. […]

Turosi Golden Farms Abandons Workers during COVID-19 outbreak

Late last week Golden Farms near Geelong in Victoria recorded a positive case of COVID-19. Within the last few days, that number has increased to 10 and could continue to rise. Turosi, the owner and operator of the site, shut down the abattoir over the weekend after pressure from the United Workers Union. Their plans to reopen this week were dashed when DHHS ordered the site to close for 14 days while workers isolate. However, in a bizarre move yesterday, DHHS authorised workers who were isolating to break isolation and return to the workplace for cleaning. Turosi has refused to offer financial assistance to their workforce during the stand-down period. The company is expecting workers to dip into their own entitlements or, for casuals, be left with nothing at all. United Workers Union condemns Golden Farms for refusing to provide paid pandemic leave, a lifeline workers have been campaigning for […]

Hospital Laundry Workers need COVID-19 testing to avoid further outbreaks

The United Workers Union is calling on Spotless to stand down all workers with pay at its Dandenong laundry facility to ensure its workforce can get tested, and isolate until they get their results back. Spotless Dandenong employees are low-wage workers who get paid the Award minimum wage. A Spotless laundry employee who worked at the facility, which supplies a major Victorian private hospital, on Friday 24th July and Saturday 25th July subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. Despite 147 workers being present on shift on the Friday, and 88 workers on the Saturday, Spotless has only identified the workforce in one small section as being a close contact of the case. The Union, however, has identified that the positive employee had also been in another work area and interacted with common vectors of potential infection. So far, Spotless has refused to do any more than stand a small number of […]

JBS cold storage workers cease work over COVID-19 safety concerns

Workers at JBS in Brooklyn, in Melbourne’s outer west, have ceased work early this morning until the company can assure them they will be safe. The action is in line with the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act and comes after 71 positive cases connected to the JBS outbreak, The cease work comes fifteen days after the JBS was ordered to close by DHHS. During this period JBS has not responded to many of workers concerns about the safety of the site. The United Workers Union, one of the two unions who represent workers at the site, wrote to JBS asking them to explain how they will keep workers safe. The company responded by telling the union they will meet with them only after workers return to work. In a notice to the company, JBS cold storage workers told the company that “without safe systems of work and without adequate […]

Pandemic failures in aged care revealed in survey

PANDEMIC FAILURES IN AGED CARE REVEALED IN SURVEY; WORKERS FEEL ‘UNPREPARED, UNTRAINED, UNSAFE’ Shocking gaps in coronavirus preparations by aged care providers have been revealed in a new national survey of more than 1000 aged care workers. The survey also shows lockdowns and other coronavirus measures have seriously affected aged care workers and the residents they care for, with staff shortages, increased workloads and some residents not seen for whole days at a stretch. Results from the United Workers Union survey show large gaps in aged care pandemic preparations: Three in 10 residential aged care workers said they had received no additional training in coronavirus safety measures or correctly using personal protective equipment. More than two thirds of aged care workers do not feel very prepared to deal with a coronavirus outbreak. Four in 10 workers feel their aged care facility has not communicated their infection plan well. One in […]

500 Woolworths workers walk off for pay equality and secure work

MEDIA RELEASE WHEN: 5 am Friday 24 July – 5 am Saturday 25 July WHERE: 11 Warren Rd, Warnervale NSW 2259 WHAT: 500 Woolworths workers stop work for 24 hours WHO: United Workers Union spokesperson Brad Donnelly will be available on-site for comment between 5 am and 3 pm. This morning, up to five hundred Woolworths distribution workers were forced to take legal industrial action and stop work for 24 hours after the supermarket giant refused to negotiate fairly regarding workers’ pay and conditions. Workers at the Wyong distribution centre on the Central Coast of New South Wales are demanding pay parity with workers who do the exact same job, for the same company, less than two hours away in Sydney. Workers on some job levels are paid up to 16% less. Workers are also calling for an end to Woolworths’ unsafe pick rates and insecure work which leaves many worrying if they will be able […]

Border stops threaten NSW, Queensland harvests

Statement attributable to Jannette Armstrong, executive director, United Workers Union farms, regarding recent Victoria-NSW border stops and turn backs of workers on the Seasonal Worker Program: This ban is discriminatory, unfair, and unhelpful. Coronavirus does not discriminate based on citizenship or visa status, but what we’ve seen repeatedly throughout this pandemic is that Liberal governments do. The ability of workers to find further work is hampered due to the nature of the harvest trail. There is not a lot of work in Victoria at the moment. Many workers will likely be able to pick up hours when the asparagus season in Victoria comes on, but that is still many weeks away. Workers are in limbo until then, and even then won’t be guaranteed work. Meanwhile farmers in NSW and Queensland are having their anticipated labour force cut off without warning. Many migrant seasonal workers were invited to Australia, to help […]

Letter Sent to Aged Care Employers

The following letter was sent to employers on 17 July 2020:   Dear Director Re: Aged Care Retention Bonus I am writing on behalf of members who have raised concerns about the retention bonus being paid to workers in aged care. As you may be aware, the deadline for employers to apply for the retention bonus for employees has been extended from 2pm EST, Monday, July 20 to 2pm EST Friday, July 31. Request on behalf of United Workers Union members I request that you provide a response to the following questions about the retention bonus: Have you applied for the bonus for eligible employees? If you have applied for the bonus, what proportion of your employees are scheduled to receive a bonus compared to those who will not receive the bonus? When are the payments expected to be made? How will tax deductions be calculated? Can you confirm the […]

Australian workers’ plea to the Federal Government: don’t cut JobKeeper

Today the Morrison Government will announce the fate of JobKeeper and JobSeeker with even more workers set to miss out. In this second phase of the wage subsidy programs workers cannot afford to be left in the lurch with a reduced rate and even harsher eligibility. It will cost jobs, livelihoods and destroy communities. Story after story has emerged via the United Workers Union JobKeeper for All website since it was launched on July 8, 2020. Workers have been reaching out to Scott Morrison to let him know they are hurting and can’t afford to be left even further behind. The Federal Government has been forced to cave to pressure from workers and bring their announcement forward. Whilst the United Workers Union welcomes the extension of JobKeeper beyond the September cut off, the Federal Government’s plans to scale back JobKeeper and JobSeeker will make life harder for thousands of workers. […]

Australian workers’ facial recognition data available to overseas government

MEDIA RELEASE The United Workers Union has stopped the collection of facial recognition data in its tracks. A security officer working at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet building in Canberra was threatened with disciplinary action should he fail to provide “voluntary consent” to facial recognition software connected to the Singaporean Government. Robert Beverly, employed by contractor Certis Security Australia, was concerned about more than his own personal privacy. Mr Beverly has high-level security clearances and the app requires security-cleared guards to take passport-style photos in uniform, inside classified government worksites, which are then uploaded to an unclassified non-government server. “I raised these concerns with Certis, hoping that they would be taken seriously. Instead, they just ramped up the pressure to get me on the app. The operations team was calling me every shift asking me why I wasn’t using the app, even though I told them daily […]

United Workers Union welcomes Queensland wage theft bill

MEDIA RELEASE United Workers Union welcomes the State Government’s bill to criminalise wage theft. The union representing Queensland contracting workers, including security, cleaning, hospitality and more, welcome the introduction of the bill to criminalise wage theft. The Palaszczuk Government announced the amendments in March to the state Criminal Code to tackle wage theft following a Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “This is another step in the right direction by the Palaszczuk Labor Government. “It is good to have the details of the legislation, as any changes must ensure wage thieves are being criminally prosecuted – whether the theft is a one off or ongoing, and the individuals who are responsible held accountable. “Offences must extend to the falsification of worker records and the failure to keep worker entitlements. “United Workers Union members are frequently victims of wage theft, feeling the impact of […]

NEW COVID CASES: Victoria’s largest abattoir JBS could leave supermarket meat shelves bare

MEDIA RELEASE Workers at Victoria’s largest abattoir JBS, in Melbourne’s western suburb of Brooklyn, may be stood down without pay after the company was ordered to close its doors. Four workers tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total to five. Workers at JBS have continued to work at a back-breaking pace to keep up with panic buying, even during the worst of the pandemic, and in return the company needs to ensure all workers are paid during the site closure, which has been brought about through no fault of their own. United Workers Union wrote to the company on Sunday 12 July, calling on them to: Share the mega profits their workers made by paying all workers pandemic leave for the duration of shutdown. Prioritise the safety of their workforce with a thorough deep clean, immediate notification of further cases and special training for worker representatives. If JBS […]

NEW COVID CASE: Melbourne Distribution Centre tells workers it’s business as usual despite confirmed COVID-19 case

MEDIA RELEASE Last night a new COVID-19 case was confirmed at the Chemist Warehouse Distribution Centre in Somerton, Melbourne that could lead to a new outbreak. The worker and only five of their colleagues have gone into isolation, despite the possibility of up to 100 staff who worked the same shift having come in contact with the confirmed case. Chemist Warehouse management wanted to continue business as usual today. However, after workers found out about the case, many have rightfully refused to work until Chemist Warehouse prioritises their safety. In response, the company has demanded workers use their own entitlements, forcing casual workers and workers with low entitlements to choose between financially supporting their family or putting their health at risk. Despite United Workers Union’s requests, Chemist Warehouse only provided limited details of the thoroughness of the clean that took place before they expected staff to continue working. Quotes attributable […]

Sixth COVID-19 case at Coles Laverton DC

Sixth COVID-19 case at Coles Laverton DC The safety of workers must be the first priority when dealing with issues at Coles Laverton Distribution Centre where workers have tested positive to COVID-19. United Workers Union has been closely monitoring the situation since the first infection occurred. The union understands there are now six workers affected by coronavirus at the distribution centre. United Workers Union met with Coles this to demand they: Place all workers at this site on paid pandemic leave for at least 2 weeks Close the site for 72 hours to allow for a deep clean Bring in a temporary workforce to handle demand until their workers are able to safely return to work – the union has offered to help find this workforce. Matt Toner, Director of Logistics, United Workers Union said: “United Workers Union will always prioritise the health and safety of our members. We have […]


AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT Signed by United Workers Union & 17 other organisations   Researchers fear that COVID-19 has created a humanitarian crisis among international students and migrant workers in Australia. Service, advocacy organisations and community networks know this is true, because we are seeing it first-hand. People have lost their jobs but have been excluded from JobKeeper and JobSeeker safety nets. Students have been forced to line up around the block for their next meal. Refugees and people seeking asylum who were previously employed, are now struggling to keep food on the table for their families and a roof over their heads. Vulnerable migrants, including undocumented workers are left at risk, afraid to access medical care or government support. The ‘International Students and Wage Theft in Australia ‘ report published by researchers at the University of New South Wales and University of Technology Sydney highlights a […]

Landmark ruling gives cleaners, security guards right to redundancy payouts

A ruling in the Federal Court today is a landmark victory for long-serving cleaners and security guards who are being callously dumped without redundancy payments. Even more broadly, the ruling affirms the rights of employees to redundancy payouts when an employer loses a particular contract – underpinning the rights of hundreds of thousands of workers now and into the future. The full Federal Court ruling confirmed workers in Queensland and Western Australia previously employed by Spotless Group have won the right to be paid their redundancies, despite Spotless trying to use a Fair Work Act loophole to avoid the payouts. Today the Federal Court rejected an appeal lodged by Spotless after Spotless lost an earlier case launched by United Workers Union’s predecessor in 2018. The precedent-setting ruling found Spotless should not deny redundancy payments to workers at Sunshine Coast Plaza Shopping Centre and Perth Airport, where the group lost cleaning […]

National survey shows insecure hospitality workers devastated by Covid-19

A major national survey of hospitality workers has revealed how COVID-19 ripped wide open the rotten foundations on which the hospitality industry is built, with the hospitality union vowing to use the Federal Government’s IR Working Group process to fight extreme levels of casualisation. Hospo Voice, the United Workers Union’s digital union for hospitality workers, has released data today from its nationwide #RebuildHospo Survey with 1158 hospitality workers*. The data shows insecure employment, combined with endemic wage theft, acted as a force-multiplier when the industry collapsed on 23 March 2020. United Workers Union National President Jo-anne Schofield, who sits on Christian Porter’s IR Working Group on casualisation, says it was a “national disgrace” 78 per cent of hospitality workers are casual, the highest rate for any group of workers (ABS 2019 Data**). The survey shows workers experienced extreme levels of financial distress when the pandemic forced the industry into shutdown […]

Fair Work Commission declares businesses must bargain during pandemic

MEDIA RELEASE This week the Fair Work Commission has found the pandemic, or the general or economic consequences of the pandemic, are not legitimate reasons for employers to refuse to continue workplace bargaining. United Workers Union, the union for food manufacturing workers, has won an application against one of Australia’s leading bread manufacturers Davies Bakery. The bakery makes bread, hot cross buns and other baked goods for ALDI, Woolworths and Coles. United Workers Union Food and Beverage National Director Susie Allison said: “The Fair Work Commission has ruled in favour of the United Workers Union and our members’ right to bargain and organise. “Davies Bakery has been paying substandard wages and conditions to their predominantly migrant workforce. “The workers have joined the union and are exercising their collective right to bargain for industry-level wages and conditions. Davies has tried to undermine workers’ right to bargain every step of the way. […]

NT Emergency Service Workers win PTSD protections, bill passes today

MEDIA RELEASE In a big win for the Northern Territory’s dedicated emergency service workers, paramedics and firefighters now have the right to presumptive post-traumatic stress disorder recognition. World-leading rules for occupational cancer coverage for the NT’s firefighters have also passed in the amendments to the Return to Work Act. Erina Early, United Workers Union NT spokesperson says, “From today, the Territory’s paramedics and firefighters have won the right to put their hands up to say they are struggling, without fear of any reprisal from their employers and insurers. “Our dedicated emergency services workers are regularly in extremely difficult and challenging situations. Until these new laws passed, claiming PTSD through workers compensation has been stressful and challenging for our paramedic and firefighter members, there have been too many rejected PTSD claims in the past and too often our members have been forced to relive traumatic workplace events. These changes to legislation […]

STATEMENT ON MINIMUM WAGE: Inequitable decision for low paid workers

MEDIA RELEASE  Statement from Jo-anne Schofield, National President, United Workers Union: “Many United Workers Union members are award-reliant and are impacted by today’s decision. Many United Workers Union members are cleaners, security guards, early childhood educators, food services workers, farm workers, hospitality workers and aged and home care workers. Many essential workers are also some of Australia’s lowest paid. Australia has been able to manage the public health crisis of COVID-19 because of the frontline workers we have all relied on. Countless United Workers Union members have worked during the pandemic for less than they would have received under JobKeeper – and many are supporting families on their low wage. Whilst this very modest rise will lead to some relief for the sectors eligible from 1 July, the staggered approach will lead to greater inequality across our workforces in this damaged economy. We welcome the Fair Work Commission recognising our […]

Hospitality union says jail dodgy NSW bosses

MEDIA RELEASE   With Victoria’s Parliament passing Australia’s first laws to criminalise wage theft, the national hospitality union says it will now push for the NSW Government to introduce laws to jail wage thieves. The NSW Government has shown zero interest in criminalising wage theft, angering hospitality workers across the state. This comes despite Victoria’s historic vote, and with similar legislation before parliament in Queensland. West Australia is also considering criminalising wage theft, and the Federal Government has also indicated it will introduce criminal penalties. Victoria’s new laws mean bosses who dishonestly withhold wages, super or other employee entitlements will face fines of up to $198,264 for individuals, $991,320 for companies, and up to 10 years jail. Digital union Hospo Voice, the hospitality arm of the United Workers Union, played a critical role campaigning for the Victorian laws and has today releasing a national survey of 1140 hospitality workers* showing 83 […]

Exploited temporary visa holder wins groundbreaking case

MEDIA RELEASE A temporary visa holder exploited by her boss because of her immigration status has called on other vulnerable workers to speak out after winning a court ruling against her former employer this week. United Workers Union member Ninumol Abraham was found to have been discriminated against based on her immigration status during her employment at Canberra Indian restaurant Binnys Kathitto. The ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard Ms Abraham was forced to work up to 70-hour weeks and had her wages mishandled through a cashback scheme. Ms Abraham, who started her job at the Canberra restaurant in January 2018, told the tribunal she was required to pay Mr Babu $100 for each day of leave she took and $511.40 in cash each fortnight for what she thought were tax requirements. When the exploitation was brought to the attention of the United Workers Union they rallied outside the popular […]

United Workers Union welcomes the passing of wage theft sentences in Victoria

MEDIA RELEASE   The stiffest wage theft sentences in the country have been passed in Victoria, a critical step in the fight against wage theft – laws that United Workers Union members have been fighting many years for. United Workers Union congratulates Premier Daniel Andrews for listening to working people and enacting this crucial reform in fighting the epidemic of wage theft. Wage thieves in Victoria now face up to 10 years jail. The laws stand up for workers who are experiencing widespread and systemic wage theft across a diverse range of industries including food and beverage production, early childhood education, security, horticulture, supermarket supply chains, hospitality and cleaning. Susie Allison, United Workers Union Victorian spokesperson says, “United Workers Union members have led the fight against wage theft and the need for tougher laws. We congratulate the Victorian Government for enacting this critical reform. Following scandal after scandal they have taken […]

Don’t just call us heroes: 15 June is International Day of Justice for Cleaners

MEDIA RELEASE   The 15th of June is International Justice Day for Cleaners. This year, on the day’s 30th anniversary, recognising the work of cleaners is more important than ever. Australia’s cleaners will join cleaners across the globe to draw attention to issues facing the workforce. Cleaners working in hospitals, schools and in our communities are stopping the spread of COVID-19. Cleaners are being called ‘heroes’ for being at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis but they need more than just the new job title: they need personal protective equipment (PPE), decent wages, respect in the workplace and paid leave when impacted by COVID-19. Australia’s cleaners have stepped up in the crisis and have been working harder than ever. Today across the country they will be drawing attention to issues affecting the workforce during the coronavirus crisis (see actions listed below). Issues being highlighted at actions today include enhanced cleaning and […]

Which federal politician will Australian cleaners award the Golden Toilet Brush to?

MEDIA ALERT WHEN: Filming and interview opportunity 12 pm Monday 15 June 2020 on International Cleaners’ Day WHERE: On the lawns of Parliament House, Canberra WHAT: Australia’s cleaners award the 2020 Golden Toilet Brush Award to a Cabinet Minister. United Workers Union spokesperson Lyndal Ryan will be available on-site for comment. Vision: The giant three metre tall toilet brush award. Today cleaners across Australia will award the 2020 Golden Toilet Brush Award to a Cabinet Minister. This ignoble gong of shame is a dishonour bestowed by Australia’s cleaners to the company or individual who has done the least to support cleaners over the previous year. Cleaners have been working harder than ever to keep our community protected throughout the COVID-19 crisis. The United Workers Union has been highlighting the terrible situation of international students, many who are cleaners and are in crisis with widespread job losses and financial distress due to […]

Educators betrayed by JobKeeper withdrawal

MEDIA RELEASE   Early childhood educators have been betrayed by the sudden withdrawal of JobKeeper and the insecurity that brings. Thousands of educator jobs are at risk, especially for the casual workforce which makes up 25% of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. Education Minister Dan Tehan’s announcement has only created more confusion for the sector, doing nothing to fix the ongoing funding problems and need for reform. His plan leaves the workforce subject to another spiral of instability once fees are reintroduced. Helen Gibbons, director of early education for United Workers Union says, “Educators and their union are appalled that ECEC is the first sector to have JobKeeper removed. Just a few months ago educators were essential, now they are disposable. “This is chaotic. This is confusing. The Federal Government is making up policy for a crucial sector on the run. “The future for this feminised workforce is […]

Casino Canberra misspends JobKeeper

MEDIA RELEASE The majority of Casino Canberra workers are having to get by with JobKeeper payments. In most cases, this is significantly less than what they would normally earn. To drive the knife in further, Casino Canberra is demanding that their staff take annual leave. Staff are being bullied and tricked into using leave entitlements they have worked for so that the Casino can use the JobKeeper payments as an annual leave subsidy scheme. Today Casino Canberra workers tried to present management with a petition against using their annual leave, but management refused to come out and meet with their staff and hear their concerns. Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union ACT State Secretary said: “Casino Canberra has made a direct choice to take advantage of workers’ confusion around their rights and what is allowed in the current climate, to try to catch them out. “The company has requested staff who […]

Tax backflip: aged care worker retention bonus insult

MEDIA RELEASE   The tax backflip on the aged care retention bonus from Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck is a broken promise to residential aged care and home care workers across Australia. On 20 March the Minister spruiked his COVID-19 ‘retention bonus’ as being $800 after tax per quarter – paid for two quarters for direct care workers and $600 after tax per quarter, for two quarters, for those who provide care in the home. The mean and tricky backflip to workers on the frontline of the COVID crisis has been shamelessly announced on the eve of a public holiday in most states. In a further disappointment for aged care workers, the Minister has also not backed down on the divisive elements in the scheme. The Minister has not backed down on the payment being pro-rated, failing to take into account that this is a part-time workforce – full-time direct care […]

Early childhood educator survey: TWO-THIRDS say families and educators at increased risk of coronavirus due to lifting attendance

MEDIA RELEASE   A national survey* of early childhood educators has revealed widespread increased safety risks and dropping standards of care and education as the number of children attending long day care rapidly goes up. More than two-thirds of respondents say that they and the centre’s families are more at risk of Covid-19 as a result of increasing attendance. Half reported having to compromise the quality of education and care daily or regularly during the pandemic. Educators need to be able to return to their primary duty of providing education and care programs. However, with the increasing attendance rates, they cannot also continue to carry out enhanced cleaning. During the period of low attendance, many of the health and hygiene practices were supported by educators deployed from other duties. United Workers Union, the early education union, says that a Federal Government support package is needed to support necessary hygiene and cleaning […]

Union submits progressive vision to Senate COVID-19 Committee

MEDIA RELEASE   Union submits progressive vision to Senate COVID-19 Committee United Workers Union has today requested the Senate Committee consider seven key recommendations to ensure essential workers of Australia are recognised with action that makes a meaningful contribution to their lives and working conditions. The Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee on COVID-19 to inquire into the Australian Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. United Workers Union National Secretary Tim Kennedy said the COVID-19 crisis has revealed and exacerbated inequalities in our communities and workplaces that require a progressive vision to ensure no worker is left behind. “United Workers Union represents 150,000 essential workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis. We represent the paramedics and healthcare members taking care of you in this crisis; the warehouse, food process and farm workers who are ensuring you are fed; the early childhood educators that haven’t stopped working; the cleaners […]

Worker safety must be at the forefront of re-opening NSW hospitality

MEDIA RELEASE   The announcement by the NSW Government that 50 people will be allowed inside pubs, cafes, restaurants and clubs from 1 June 2020 is welcome news to devastated hospitality workers desperate to get back to work. But to put the best interests of these workers at the forefront, United Workers Union, the hospitality union, warns that this big step in re-opening hospitality in NSW must be done with clear safety regulations to protect the health of the public and the workers. Profits cannot be put before the safety of workers and the community. Mandatory safety training needs to be urgently implemented, alongside the provision of paid pandemic leave for hospitality workers. The NSW Government must ensure businesses register their capacity for patrons appropriate to their size and that this is being enforced. There must be zero tolerance for non-compliance of venues to health and safety regulations. United Workers Union […]

Billion-dollar company takes JobKeeper with one hand and threatens redundancies with the other

MEDIA RELEASE   Billion-dollar company takes JobKeeper with one hand and threatens redundancies with the other Bidfood, an international company and major player in the food-supply industry in Australia, have threatened staff with forced redundancies despite receiving JobKeeper. Up until now, Bidfood has been taking part in the government JobKeeper scheme for their thousands of employees. However, they have announced forced redundancy plans for over 100 staff to take effect by close of business tomorrow. In conversations with the union, Bidfood management said the forced redundancy plan is based on an “educated guess that the hospitality industry will take a while to recover and it was better for employees to be on Centrelink than to continue to be employed by the company on JobKeeper.” United Workers Union Food and Beverage National Director Susie Allison said: “Billion-dollar Bidfood is using this crisis as a cover to cut good, permanent jobs and […]

Petition launch to end Treasurer’s hidden agenda for health workers

MEDIA RELEASE   Petition launch to end Treasurer’s hidden agenda for health workers Today South Australian health care workers launched a petition to Treasurer Rob Lucas. The Treasurer refuses to roll over an agreement to uphold the current working conditions for thousands of essential health care workers. In light of the current COVID crisis, workers volunteered to roll over their workplace agreement, keeping the status quo, so they can focus on delivering services and keeping the community safe. “Lucas and the Liberal Government’s refusal to roll over the current agreement, in favour of attacking workers during a pandemic, have revealed their true agenda” said Paul Blackmore, United Workers Union Public Sector Coordinator. “The changes proposed by the government would create a pathway to cut jobs and privatise and outsource services wherever they can. “Once this happens, they will have no direct control of essential community services and workers will be […]

High risk situation on our farms: new research released on the risks for undocumented workers in COVID-19 pandemic

MEDIA RELEASE   New research released today highlights the risks for undocumented farms workers in Australia in the Covid-19 pandemic, with workers at high risk of infection. Undocumented workers in the farms sector are at risk from substandard living and work conditions, including overcrowded housing. The risks they face of detention and deportation also means that these workers are unlikely to participate in testing. These factors do jeopardize Australia’s initial successes in controlling Covid-19. United Workers Union, the farm worker union, demands urgent action to resolve this risky situation. The coronavirus crisis has put the importance of our food supplies in the spotlight. We are calling for a status resolution to enable undocumented workers to transition into a visa that enables them to work lawfully in essential industries (in the same way seasonal workers are able to). A transitional visa will assist these workers continue in their essential role of picking […]

CLEANER SURVEY: not enough time to deliver essential cleaning work during coronavirus

MEDIA RELEASE   A survey of over 500 cleaners conducted nationally last week* has revealed that 9 in 10 cleaners are having to rush essential cleaning work and 8 in 10 do not always have enough cleaning equipment during the coronavirus crisis. Despite the coronavirus crisis highlighting how important our cleaners are, many cleaners are in a constant state of worry over job security with 77% worried about losing their job and 80% worried they will lose hours. United Workers Union, the cleaners union, has released the results to launch a new campaign calling for decent wages and secure work for Australia’s cleaning workforce in the post-Covid world. The main survey findings: 91% of surveyed cleaners always, often or sometimes have to rush their work because they don’t have enough time 80% of cleaners do not have enough cleaning equipment to do a quality job 74% do not have enough personal […]

Prime Minister’s broken promise on early learning will threaten jobs

MEDIA RELEASE   The United Workers Union says the Prime Minister must keep his promise to protect the essential service of early education. With the release of the review into the Government’s policy today, the union for early childhood education and care (ECEC) is warning a premature end to the emergency ECEC funding could cost thousands of jobs and threaten the financial viability of early learning centres across Australia and threaten thousands of educators’ jobs. Helen Gibbons, the director for early childhood education at United Workers Union says, “The Prime Minister declared that early learning is an essential service in our community. An essential service that parents and the community rely on. Urgent funding was injected into the sector to save it from imminent collapse. This funding made child care free for parents but now that emergency package is under threat. “If the Prime Minister now makes a U-turn on emergency […]

Largest survey of disability workers finds poor workforce conditions

MEDIA RELEASE   Findings from a survey of more than 2300 disability workers released today shows that the current workforce conditions under the NDIS serve to undermine the capacity of the workforce to provide quality support to people with disability. Commissioned by Health Services Union (HSU), United Workers Union (UWU) and Australian Services Union (ASU), the research report by the UNSW Social Policy Research Centre highlights the lived experience of the workforce operating under the NDIS. Key findings from the report are: Many workers expressed concern about the NDIS with only just over a quarter believing it provided quality support for participants. Only 1 in 5 workers agreed the NDIS had been a positive experience for them as a worker. Working time arrangements contributed to much concern for workers, over half work less than full time across multiple jobs, most reported doing vital tasks in unpaid time and many report constant […]

Federal Government must act on aged care safety

MEDIA RELEASE   Another COVID-19 case in an aged care facility has shown the urgent need for the Federal Government to recognise and act on the serious gaps in its measures to protect the workforce and residents. United Workers Union aged care national director Carolyn Smith says, “Today’s revelation about a nurse falling ill with coronavirus in Queensland is confirmation of what every aged care worker in the country already knows: aged care is a very high-risk environment. “Aged care workers are on the frontline in this crisis and it is time the Federal Government recognised their sacrifices and addressed their concerns. “Aged care workers across the country have expressed the need for Special Paid COVID-19 leave to help them stay home if they fear they have symptoms of coronavirus. “Otherwise workers are left to gamble with their health and the health of the people they care for. “The silence from […]

Major safety concerns raised over hospitality industry re-opening

MEDIA RELEASE   In a report to State and Federal Governments, the union for hospitality workers has today raised major concerns that governments and employers would put profits before the safety of workers and the community in the re-opening of the sector. The Australian hospitality industry has been hit worse than any other by the current crisis, with an estimated 1 in 3 paid jobs lost in the month from March alone according to ABS data. Prior to COVID-19, workers in the sector faced widespread wage theft, poor safety standards, harassment and insecure jobs. United Workers Union National Secretary Tim Kennedy said the hospitality industry had an appalling track record when it came to looking after workers, and there needed to be strict measures in place as restrictions eased to ensure everyone’s safety. “Like all Australians, we want things to return to normal and for workers to be back at work […]

United Workers Union supports Dairy Levy for industry in crisis

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union supports Dairy Levy for industry in crisis The union representing dairy process workers throughout Australia welcomes the call for a levy on dairy. United Workers Union supports the call for a levy on milk at supermarkets to ensure farmers and workers are paid a living wage and to enable a sustainable industry. The dairy industry is in crisis. In the recent fires 15,000,000 out of the 45,000,000 acres of prime dairy farming land has been burnt out. 5,200 head of cattle were lost in these fires and we are seeing long term multi generation farmers leave the industry in droves. We need to act now to protect the dairy industry and ensure that we have secure jobs across the supply chain. Dairy farmers have demanded Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarkets add up to a 40 cent per litre levy on milk to help them after […]

South Australian hospitality workers left out of JobKeeper

MEDIA RELEASE   South Australian hospitality workers left out of JobKeeper United Workers Union is calling on the South Australian Government to review its decision on JobKeeper eligibility. As it stands the wage subsidy leaves behind around 1000 South Australian Government enterprise workers who have been stood down, 850 of these are from Adelaide Venue Management.* These workers classified as ‘South Australian public corporation employees’ are ineligible for the JobKeeper wage subsidy program introduced under the Commonwealth’s coronavirus response. United Workers Union spokesperson Godfrey Moase said: “No worker should be left behind, and yet the South Australian Government is actively choosing to inflict suffering on government enterprise hospitality workers.” Last week, on May 6, Victoria’s Daniel Andrews-led government announced the introduction of a $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy for those working in venue management. “United Workers Union calls on Premier Steven Marshall to do the same and act immediately to […]

JobKeeper fail: Survey finds 7 in 10 hospo workers miss out

MEDIA RELEASE Seven in ten surveyed hospitality workers report they won’t be getting JobKeeper. The workers are either ineligible from the Morrison Government’s Covid-19 scheme, or their employers have decided to not apply, or they report their employers have used it as an excuse to sack them. The online survey of 550 hospitality workers* by the United Workers Union hospitality arm Hospo Voice raises serious issues with the implementation of JobKeeper in the hard-hit hospitality sector. JobKeeper has failed hospitality workers, with the widespread eligibility issues leaving workers exposed to dire financial situations. Hospitality workers also reported in the survey that they are being asked to sign non-ATO documents entitling their employer to pocket some of the payment or are facing employer demands to either drastically increase or decrease hours. The survey’s main findings: 68% of workers surveyed are ineligible for JobKeeper 12% of those who are eligible say their […]

SA Treasurer attacks health care workers during COVID-19 crisis

MEDIA RELEASE   Treasurer attacks health care workers during COVID-19 crisis Public health workers at the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic are set to lose job security and working conditions, even as they work to stop the spread in South Australia. United Workers Union members are delivering meals to sick people, pushing beds to ICUs, sterilising equipment and theatres for surgery, and doing everything they can to stop the spread of this pandemic while maintaining effective health services for South Australians. United Workers Union – the union for health care workers is calling out Treasurer Rob Lucas for attempting to slash the working conditions of vital health workers at a time when they’re needed most. In light of the current crisis the public health system is facing, workers volunteered to roll over their current workplace agreement, keeping the status quo so that everyone can focus on delivering services and keeping […]

Sydney Airport staff miss out on JobKeeper

MEDIA RELEASE   Sydney Airport staff miss out on JobKeeper United Workers Union says over 1200 aviation security guards working at Sydney Airport have been told they do not qualify for JobKeeper. Certis Security Australia told workers that following discussions with the ATO they will not be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment. Businesses with a turnover over $1 billion need to demonstrate a 50% loss of revenue. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “Certis has chosen to stand down the majority of their aviation staff without pay. “These workers have been locked out of JobKeeper because of the size of the company and its profits. This decision shows Certis prioritises its profits over its people.” In a recent letter from Managing Director Tom Roche, he told workers “you can now approach Centrelink and apply for JobSeeker.” “SNP Security (a subsidiary of Certis – a company […]

Major NSW Government contractor ripping off school cleaners: court case lodged

MEDIA RELEASE   Major NSW Government contractor Broadspectrum is being taken to court by the cleaners’ union for rorting low-paid school cleaners and breaching the Fair Work Act. The case is being fought for 1600 NSW school cleaners employed by Broadspectrum (one of the state’s four school cleaning contractors). Broadspectrum is a large, wealthy, multinational privately-owned facilities management corporation with sensitive government contracts around the world. United Workers’ Union alleges in the filing in the Federal Court that Broadspectrum did not pay cleaners for some periods the appropriate loadings, paid no overtime when overtime should have been paid and deducted money from cleaners’ wages when there was no authority to do this. In addition, Broadspectrum failed to comply with the Cleaning Award’s span of hours rules – this effectively made cleaners work split shits which spanned up to 14 hours. Further, Broadspectrum did not provide for adequate breaks for shift work […]

New report highlights COVID-19 impact on disability support workers

MEDIA RELEASE   A report by the UNSW Sydney released today shares the initial experiences of the disability workforce during the COVID-19 outbreak. Commissioned by Health Services Union (HSU), United Workers Union (UWU) and Australian Services Union (ASU), the report surveyed more than 2,300 disability workers and shows how COVID-19 has massively increased the risks of working in disability services. Key findings from the report are: There is an urgent lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) being supplied to staff and clients, and many workers feel their organisation’s safety protocols have been inadequate in the context of COVID-19. There are widespread perceptions that the disability workforce is being dangerously overlooked in pandemic response, and many workers are worried about the ongoing impacts of lack of planning in their organisation and for the disability sector as a whole. Workers have been particularly worried about day programs and community access activities remaining in […]

HOSPITALITY SURVEY: 89% of casual & temporary visa hospo workers unemployed, only 5% earning enough to pay rent & food

MEDIA RELEASE   A survey* of 300 casual, temporary visa and international student hospitality workers reveals a financial crisis unfolding and the heavy toll of Federal Government refusal to provide income support. The survey reveals a shocking jobless rate among casual and migrant hospitality workers, with only 11% of participants in work, and less than 5% earning enough to meet the costs of rent and food. Workers participating in the survey by Hospo Voice, the hospitality arm of United Workers Union, said they feel ‘desperate’, ‘unwelcome’ and ‘abandoned’ by the Federal Government despite contributing to our economy and society. The workers were surviving during the coronavirus shutdown by drawing down savings, borrowing from friends and family, and deferring bills and rent. Participants reported not having any means to pay for rent and food, skipping meals, being unable to pay for medication and feeling abandoned after paying taxes. Tim Kennedy, National Secretary […]

United Workers Union welcomes COVID-19 hygiene training

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union welcomes COVID-19 hygiene training United Workers Union, the Union for hospitality workers, has today welcomed the announcement of training for hospitality workers and businesses to ensure venues are safe for workers and members of the public as the State looks to life after COVID-19. Carolyn Smith, United Workers Union State Secretary, said the hospitality sector had been hit really hard over the past few months. “Hospitality workers have had their jobs and hours vanish overnight with many not eligible for the Morrison Liberal Government’s JobKeeper support given the high levels of casual and visa workers in the sector. “These workers want to get back to work, but they want to get it right to keep themselves and the public safe.” Ms Smith said the Union was ready to work with Government and Employer Groups to get the best outcome for workers and West Australians. […]

Welcome emergency support for international students in Victoria – Federal Government must now follow the lead of states and territories

MEDIA RELEASE   Welcome emergency support for international students in Victoria – Federal Government must now follow the lead of states and territories United Workers Union welcomes the announcement from the Victorian Government of emergency financial support for international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The union has been highlighting the terrible situation of international students in crisis with widespread job losses and financial distress. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg can no longer be inactive on these issues and must extend this assistance federally during the COVID-19 period. Tim Kennedy, United Workers Union National Secretary says, “United Workers Union takes heart from another state or territory government taking action on this issue and the Victorian government’s recognition of the contribution of international students to the state’s society and economy. No worker should be left behind in the coronavirus crisis. “The union’s international student members have been facing a dire situation, cut off […]

Welcome assistance for ACT temporary visa workers – Federal Government must now follow ACT lead

MEDIA RELEASE   Welcome assistance for ACT temporary visa workers – Federal Government must now follow ACT lead United Workers Union welcomes the announcement from the ACT Government of free medical care in the ACT public health service for temporary visa workers and international students during the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside an emergency fund to help visa workers and international students who have lost their jobs. The union has been highlighting the heartbreaking situation of migrant members in crisis and welcomes the move to provide medical and financial support to these workers. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg must take notice of these moves in the ACT to assist workers who contribute so much to our economy and community. He must extend this assistance federally during the COVID-19 period. Ensuring free health care helps all workers, protecting public health and welfare across the board. Lyndal Ryan, United Workers Union ACT spokesperson says, “United […]

Home Care workers COVID-19 demands on Global Day of Action

MEDIA RELEASE   Home Care workers COVID-19 demands on Global Day of Action Today is the Home Care Global Day of Action. United Workers Union members are taking action and being joined by workers around the world from New Zealand, Ireland, the United States, and throughout Europe. Home care workers around the world have three keys demands. Recognition Home care workers are calling for recognition as health care professionals. The essential work of the world’s home carers needs to made visible. Home care workers do not work in a single institution; they work in people’s homes. They are often alone with many clients relying on their visit to get out of bed that day, be safely handled, washed and fed.  These workers provide the level of care and dignity required to keep people out of hospitals and nursing homes and in their own home for as long as possible. PPE Home care […]

Welcome support for Tasmanian visa workers – Federal Government must now follow Tasmania’s lead

MEDIA RELEASE   Welcome support for Tasmanian visa workers – Federal Government must now follow Tasmania’s lead United Workers Union welcomes the decision by the Tasmanian Government to provide $3 million of financial assistance to temporary migrant workers. The union’s migrant members have been facing a dire situation, cut off from Federal Government assistance and affordable healthcare during the coronavirus crisis. The union wrote to Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein last week highlighting the heartbreaking situation of migrant members in crisis and welcomes the move to provide some support to these workers – as well as recognising their importance to Tasmania’s society and economy. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg must take notice of this move to assist workers who contribute so much to our economy and community – he can extend this assistance at a national level with the stroke of a pen. Jannette Armstrong, United Workers Union Tasmanian spokesperson says, “United […]

United Workers Union fights for benchmark pandemic leave

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union fights for benchmark pandemic leave United Workers Union – the union for 150,000 Australians in a range of essential industries – is calling for workers to be supported with pandemic leave. United Workers Union, together with a number of other health Unions, have filed an application with the Fair Work Commission to have paid pandemic leave entitlements inserted into a number of federal awards relating to health workers. These measures will apply to both casual and permanent staff and be made up of two components: Where a worker is required to self-isolate, or is prevented from working by Government decree, they will receive two weeks paid leave per instance. Where a worker is infected with COVID-19, they receive an immediate credit of 20 days personal leave (so they could then take personal leave while off work due to infection). The Awards the union is […]

Security guards at Perth quarantine hotels asked to remove masks because it was ‘upsetting and intimidating guests’

MEDIA RELEASE   Security guards at Perth quarantine hotels asked to remove masks because it was ‘upsetting and intimidating guests’ United Workers Union, the security union, is hugely concerned that members working at quarantine hotels in Perth have been instructed to remove masks after site supervisors claimed it was ‘upsetting and intimidating guests’. Workers in dangerous situations must be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) and clear health and safety information during the coronavirus crisis. Security guards and cleaners in quarantine hotels have been providing a crucial service as they put themselves at risk to keep the community safe and protected from the Covid-19 virus. Carolyn Smith, United Workers Union W.A. spokesperson says, “The union has been contacted by distressed members. Being handed a mask and then having that mask taken away when working in a high risk environment is unacceptable and reckless in the current health crisis. “Serco has […]

Aprons plastered to bar windows in silent protest at neglect of casual & migrant hospitality workers

MEDIA RELEASE   Aprons plastered to bar windows in silent protest at neglect of casual & migrant hospitality workers Jobless hospitality workers are writing their stories on aprons and sticking them to the windows of bars to protest being ignored in the Morrison Government’s Covid-19 stimulus package. The social media and awareness raising campaign was launched by digital union Hospo Voice ahead of Parliament voting on the Government’s JobKeeper package on Wednesday. Casual and migrant hospitality workers who are facing homelessness have turned to the silent protest to ramp up the pressure on the government and draw attention to their desperation. Early this morning the windows of several well-known bars in Fitzroy – a once-bustling hospitality strip – were plastered with aprons. Hospo Voice will now take the protest nationwide, with fellow hospitality workers, diners, drinkers and cafe-goers being asked to hang aprons on their letterboxes and fences and post […]

Educators catching coronavirus must spur urgent hygiene and safety guidelines for the whole ECEC sector

MEDIA RELEASE   Educators catching coronavirus must spur urgent hygiene and safety guidelines for the whole ECEC sector United Workers Union, the early childhood union, is renewing calls for centres that are failing to deliver the highest standards of hygiene and safety during the coronavirus crisis to be shut down. The call comes following alarming news for the sector, with the union being told that two educators in Sydney have been admitted to ICU for coronavirus. The union is demanding that all early education facilities across Australia follow the union’s 6 point plan for hygiene and safety – if they cannot implement this plan they should not be operating. Educators and families must feel safe during this crisis. The union’s plan includes temperature checks for children upon arrival, increased personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff, and adequate time for increased cleaning and hygiene implementation. Because early childhood educators cannot practice […]

“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 […]

Nationwide virtual picket line calls for no worker to be left behind

MEDIA RELEASE   Nationwide virtual picket line calls for no worker to be left behind   WHEN: 12pm (AEDT) TODAY, Friday 03 April 2020 WHERE: WHAT: Thousands of Australian workers from every state join together to protest the exclusion of millions of workers from government support during the COVID-19 crisis. WHO: Workers directly impacted by the exclusions are available for interview. Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]   Today the largest Australia-wide ‘virtual picket line’ is taking place. The ‘virtual picket line’ will raise awareness of how the Federal Government’s wage subsidy excludes millions of workers, and how migrant workers have been left in limbo with no guaranteed access to safe and affordable healthcare amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. The United Workers Union who represents 150,000 workers, including workers in hospitality and on farms, is taking the fight online. United Workers members will be live streaming from their front […]

No more cuts to cleaning in NSW, coronavirus boost must be permanent

MEDIA RELEASE   No more cuts to cleaning in NSW, coronavirus boost must be permanent United Workers Union, the cleaners union, welcomes the NSW Government’s increased funding to boost cleaning services in government buildings and schools during this critical time, by employing hundreds of new cleaners. Georgia Potter Butler, spokesperson for United Workers Union says, “The crucial role of cleaners has finally been recognised and boosted in government buildings, schools, TAFEs and prisons across the state. “Our clear message to the government after 8 years of cuts to cleaning budgets under the Whole of Government cleaning contract is that this increase to the workforce needs to be permanent. “The NSW community is always surprised when they find out that their local schools have had the number of cleaners and cleaning hours cut numerous times in recent years, with the pay of cleaners stripped back also. “At the beginning of this […]

Free early education and care must preserve jobs

MEDIA RELEASE   Free early education and care must preserve jobs The United Workers Union, the union for early education, welcomes today’s announcement of free access to early education and care for Australian families, but says more needs to be done to ensure jobs in the sector are preserved. Today’s announcement did not directly address how the Government plans to preserve the sector so it is still there when Australia is able to get back to work. We are also concerned at the continued failure of the Federal Government to provide further guidance on health and safety for the early education sector during the coronavirus crisis. Last week the union announced a 6 point plan for hygiene and safety including mandatory temperature checks, but the continued Government silence on these issues is worrying. Helen Gibbons, United Workers Union Early Education and Care Director says, “Yes, this announcement is welcome, but […]

Statement on JobKeeper wage subsidy

Attribute to United Workers Union National Secretary Tim Kennedy: “The Job Keeper wage subsidy will see a fortnightly payment of $1500 reimbursed to employers who keep workers on the books. “Just days ago the Government said wage subsidies were impossible. We now have a $130 billion wage subsidy. At last year’s federal election we were told raising Newstart by $75 per week was also impossible. The rate has now been doubled. “The Government is moving in the right direction because they have been pushed. But there is more work to be done to ensure all workers are included and supported to the extent that is needed. This must include all casuals, temporary visa holders and non-visa holders. “UWU continues to call for a Jobs Guarantee backed by a 100% wage guarantee and an Income Guarantee for all unemployed workers.” Watch an interview with Tim Kennedy about the Job Keeper wage […]

Sydney Airport keeps over 1000 aviation security guards on tenterhooks

MEDIA RELEASE   Sydney Airport keeps over 1000 aviation security guards on tenterhooks United Workers Union, the security workers union, says over 1000 aviation security guards working at Sydney Airport have been given no information about their ongoing employment amid COVID-19 crisis. The union was told by SNP Security (a subsidiary of Certis – a company owned by the Singapore government) that Sydney Airport Corporation hasn’t been forthcoming with details for the future of many of their 1250 guards. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “Workers have been left in limbo. They’re very distressed. Each day they wait in anguish for some clarification on what their future holds.” It’s anticipated 70% of the 1250 will be stood down without pay. Certis has already stood down around a 100 guards without pay. Mr Davie said: “What we do know during these uncertain times is Certis prioritises its […]


As millions of workers across the country face cuts to hours and job losses, United Workers Union has today outlined an emergency plan of what working people need from the Federal Government to get through the COVID-19 crisis. The United Workers Union is calling for every person irrespective of their citizenship or visa status to receive either a Jobs Guarantee or an Emergency Income Guarantee, along with a raft of other important actions to ensure we can all get through the COVID-19 crisis together. National Secretary Tim Kennedy said: “We stand in solidarity with the entirety of the union movement in calling for a Jobs Guarantee backed by an 80 per cent wage subsidy to keep people in jobs. “We also recognise that too many Australians are underemployed, unemployed and have already been laid off. That’s why we want to see every member of our community, not otherwise supported through […]

Star and Crown casino workers’ pay protected for the next fortnight

MEDIA RELEASE   Star and Crown casino workers’ pay protected for the next fortnight The Star Entertainment Group and Crown Resorts will pay most stood down casino workers for the next two weeks. This decision comes after days of discussions with United Workers Union representatives and delegates and ensures thousands of casino workers at Star Sydney, Gold Coast and Treasury casinos as well as Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth will keep getting paid for another fortnight during the coronavirus crisis. At Star, full and part time workers will be paid based on the hours they would have worked in this period and casual workers who lost all work last week will now receive 16 hours pay for two weeks. At Crown part time payments are being based on average hours worked over a fortnight, and the casual payment will be $1000. Dario Mujkic, United Workers Union Casinos Director says, “This […]

Early childhood education and care needs urgent & tough coronavirus rules: Union releases plan

MEDIA RELEASE   Early childhood education and care needs urgent & tough coronavirus rules: Union releases plan United Workers Union, the early childhood union, says that hygiene and safety must be improved and increased in centres – or they should be shut down to protect young children and educators. The union has released a 6 point plan to provide clear and strong rules for early childhood education and care (ECEC) and urges the National Cabinet to adopt this plan when they meet tonight. The sector has been thrown into chaos from the lack of leadership from the Federal Government and can no longer wait for action. There can be no further delays on decisions to help centres continue to operate during the Covid-19 crisis. Urgent funding is needed to support centres so they can put measures in place now. Union asks include temperature checks upon arrival, increased personal protective equipment […]

Aged Care workers win two weeks of paid Covid19 leave

One of Australia’s largest Aged Care providers has agreed to pay staff two weeks of special “Covid19 leave” if they or their close family have to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus. The measures apply to both permanent and casual staff, with the payments for casuals based on their last two-week roster period. In addition, a major Western Australian Aged Care provider, Brightwater, has agreed to pay their staff during Covid19 leave. “United Workers Union wrote to Aged Care providers putting our demand for an extra two weeks paid leave for Aged Care workers, because they need their employers’ support if they are going to keep providing quality care,” Carolyn Smith, United Workers Union National Aged Care Director, said today. “It’s great to see an employers as big as Bupa and Brightwater committing to two weeks paid leave for their staff if they or their family have to self-isolate […]

Emergency national action needed to support displaced hospitality workers

United Workers Union is calling on the Federal Government to commit to an emergency rescue package to help close to a million hospitality workers left without work from the COVID-19 crisis. The union, which represents 150,000 members nationally, has today released a plan to help hospitality workers in crisis, demanding the Federal Government deliver an emergency $2500 payment for all displaced hospitality workers and a basic income payment while they are out of work of $740 per week (federal minimum wage) for at least the rest of 2020. The union’s National Secretary Tim Kennedy said the hospitality industry was in meltdown and 79 per cent of the workforce were casuals with no access to paid leave. “We are hearing horror stories daily from our members across all industries of the impacts of losing work. We know hospitality is already one of the most insecure industries, with wage theft and exploitation […]

Aged care workers must get promised funds urgently

The Federal Government has belatedly recognised the importance of an overworked and understaffed workforce in dedicating funding directly to aged carers, the United Workers Union said today. “The challenge for the Federal Government is to make sure the workers who will be running aged care in this time of crisis get the money they have been promised,” Carolyn Smith, the National Aged Care Director of United Workers Union said. “We need a fair, transparent and equitable system to deliver the funding as quickly as possible to aged carers – they need this to go straight into their pockets. “Aged carers will be on the front line of this crisis, and they need all the support they can get. “The $235 million for retention bonuses is welcome recognition of the importance of aged carers. “It must not be soaked up by the top layer or go missing in red tape.” Ms […]

Opinion: Being better starts with you, Prime Minister

OPINION: Being better starts with you, Prime Minister Written by United Workers Union National President Jo-Anne Schofield The Corona-Crisis has exposed the deep fault-lines of inequality in Australia and around the globe. Australia has 3.3 million workers in insecure work.  These are workers who live week to week, often in casual or gig-type shifts in sectors like hospitality, clubs, pubs, tourism, sport and the arts.    There’s been a lot of talk about the impact of COVID-19 on these businesses – and rightly so. Many will be forced to dramatically scale back services, or close for a period, perhaps permanently. But it is the workers in these businesses that will bear the brunt of the economic consequences of COVID-19.  Surely it’s time to talk about them. The United Workers Union is hearing daily stories of workers being treated as disposable in a downturn.  Many are losing shifts or being stood down […]

Calls for urgent action to protect Australian farm workers

The United Workers Union, the farm workers union, calls for urgent action to protect and resolve the visa status of migrant workers on Australian farms during the COVID-19 crisis. Migrant workers are being left in limbo due to the uncertainty of ever changing travel restrictions and border closures, and no guaranteed access to safe and affordable healthcare amidst the global coronavirus pandemic. They are also facing the same key issue that all insecure workers in Australia are facing: Can they afford to self-isolate? United Workers Union spokesperson Jannette Armstrong said, “Without urgent support and clarity, Australia may see tens of thousands of visa workers stranded with invalid visas, or departing the country early leaving huge holes in some of our essential workforces. “Australia’s supply of fresh produce is crucially dependent on temporary migrant workers. The labour of temporary and undocumented workers has held up the fresh produce industry in Australia […]

NSW school cleaning – years of government cost-cutting has put school communities at risk in the coronavirus outbreak

The extra funding announced by the Berejiklian Government for school cleaning is too little and too late. It does not repair eight years of cost savings and cuts to cleaning hours by this Government. This continued cost cutting has put the safety of school cleaners, students, teachers and staff at risk. The Government and the four cleaning contractors working across our schools have been deliberately driving down wages and direct cleaning hours on school grounds. This cost-cutting has been continuing during the coronavirus outbreak, creating an inexcusable and downright dangerous situation. Georgia Potter Butler, spokesperson for United Workers Union, the cleaners union, says, “Cost-cutting and cutting back of cleaning hours has been happening across the system, it has been happening in your local public school and there are still cuts proposed. “United Workers Union has concerns about the handling by the Department of Education and Public Works of the NSW […]

MONA security guards sacked during coronavirus shutdown

Contractor Coverall Security has sacked MONA security guards using the coronavirus shutdown as an excuse. United Workers Union, the security union, condemns this underhand move. Tasmanian workers need to be supported, not sacked, by their employers during the coronavirus crisis. Thomas Windsor, Managing Director and part-owner of Coverall Security has told the sacked guards that the temporary closure of MONA is the reason for them losing their job. There was no consultation with the workers or requests for the guards to use banked leave during this time. He has even told the workers not to bother fighting him. Sarah Ellis, United Workers Union Tasmania spokesperson says, “This is just a disgusting decision by Coverall Security in these uncertain times. “Thomas Windsor needs to hand back his honours from Australia Day for work supposedly advocating for mental health and depression. He doesn’t care about the mental health of the workers he […]

New aged care restrictions sensible to address coronavirus impact

New restrictions on visitors to aged care facilities represent sensible steps toward addressing the impact of coronavirus on the country’s most vulnerable citizens, United Workers Union said today. The union’s National Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said: “Aged care workers are on the front line of this crisis and they welcome steps to keep their workplaces as protected from coronavirus as possible. “While the restrictions may be inconvenient and distressing for some families, aged care workers are extremely aware of their responsibilities to ensure appropriate infection control measures.” Ms Smith said aged care workers should be supported by their employers during the coronavirus crisis. “Aged care workers need the assurance they will be supported to meet the long-term care needs of their residents if they have to take coronavirus-related leave.” Ms Smith said the new restrictions on visits came on top of the rigorous infection control measures that were already […]

United Workers Union welcomes the country’s first wage theft laws

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union welcomes the country’s first wage theft laws The United Workers Union who represent 150,000 workers, including workers in hospitality, cleaning and on farms welcomes the State Government’s new legislation that stands to be the toughest wage theft laws of any state. Today the Andrews Labor Government has introduced new laws that will see employers who deliberately underpay or don’t pay their workers face up to 10 years jail. The Wage Theft Bill 2020 will establish new criminal offences for employers who deliberately withhold wages and other employee entitlements. Tim Kennedy, National Secretary of United Workers Union, said every year, thousands of the lowest paid workers in the country experienced wage theft. For many workers in insecure work, systemic wage theft eats into hard won wages and working conditions and undermines people’s confidence in the law.  “Employers who steal from their staff need to be […]

WA hospital workers win fight against privatisation

Thousands of health workers in Western Australia have won a decade-long fight against healthcare privatisation today, with the McGowan Government announcing key Fiona Stanley Hospital services would be brought back into public hands. United Workers Union – the union for hospital support staff including cleaners, catering staff and orderlies – welcomed the winding back of Serco’s $4.3 billion hospital contract, which would deliver better jobs for more than 600 workers and better care for the community. Health worker and union member Phyllis de Gois was among thousands who stood together and spoke out against the privatisation of health services in WA.   “I am thrilled about what our campaign has achieved – it’s better for the patients, better for the public, and better all round,” she said. “The hospitals we work in belong to the community. We never want to see a government try and outsource our public health again.” […]

United Workers Union welcomes State Government legislation to make wage theft a crime

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union welcomes State Government legislation to make wage theft a crime The union representing Queensland contracting workers, including security, cleaning, hospitality and more, welcomes the State Government’s new legislation to make wage theft a criminal offence. Today the Palaszczuk Government has announced amendments to the state Criminal Code to tackle wage theft following a Queensland Parliamentary Inquiry. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “This is a step forward in the right direction by the Palaszczuk Labor Government. “Any changes must ensure wage thieves are being criminally prosecuted – whether the theft is a one off or ongoing, and the individuals who are responsible need to be held to account. “Offences must extend to the falsification of worker records and the failure to keep worker entitlements. “United Workers Union members are frequently victims of wage theft, feeling the impact of zombie agreements […]

Workers must be supported through coronavirus

MEDIA RELEASE   Workers must be supported through coronavirus United Workers Union – the union for 150,000 Australians in a range of essential industries – is calling for workers to be supported as concerns around coronavirus (COVID-19) escalate nationally. Union Director Carolyn Smith said now was the time for all Australians to get behind the workers who keep our communities running. “Our members’ work reaches millions of people every single day of their lives. It is working people who are on the frontline of the coronavirus threat,” Ms Smith said. “We need significant back-up and support – from employers and from Government – to deal with this global health crisis.” The union is calling for the following key commitments to be put in place immediately to ensure workers are safe and don’t lose out under this global health crisis: If workers cannot work due to coronavirus risks, they should not […]

International Women’s Day Protest at Melbourne Bakery

MEDIA RELEASE   INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY PROTEST AT MELBOURNE BAKERY Ahead of International Women’s Day this weekend, around 60 – 80 women will be taking to the streets to protest the mistreatment and exploitation faced by workers at Davies Bakery every single day. One of Australia’s leading bread manufacturers is accused of discriminating against a pregnant worker by refusing to give her a full-time position, and then cutting all her shifts after she told her manager she was pregnant in an application lodged at VCAT this morning. Rajdeep Kaur, who has worked as a casual employee at the bakery for almost 1.5 years, said, “like so many migrant workers I came to Australia for a better life. I have worked very hard at Davies Bakery, and would regularly work 6 days a week, and sometimes even 14-hour shifts. I never expected that I would be treated like this in Australia. […]

We can stamp out wage theft: workers present solutions to the Senate today

MEDIA RELEASE   We can stamp out wage theft: workers present solutions to the Senate today United Workers Union members have presented a formal submission to the Senate Inquiry into Wage Theft in Canberra today on behalf of the thousands of union members who have experienced wage theft. The workers are calling for an end to wage theft becoming the ‘new normal’ and presenting solutions to return a culture of compliance to Australian workplaces. Workers have shared shocking personal stories of wage theft in the submission. Stories include farm workers paid $8 to $12 an hour to pick tomatoes whilst being exposed to dangerous chemical spraying. One food manufacturing worker was forced to work 23 hours a day for no overtime and with the help of the union recovered $36,000 in overtime wages. A security guard working 24 hour shifts for a flat rate of pay was not paid any […]

Victorian Ambulance Agreement: Action on fair pay, safety and exposure to drugs

MEDIA RELEASE   Victorian Ambulance Agreement: Action on fair pay, safety and exposure to drugs The Ambulance Employees Australia Victoria (AEAV) has today reached in-principle agreement with Ambulance Victoria on a new enterprise agreement. Key concessions from Ambulance Victoria include commitments to address the AEAV key claims including:  Fair pay increases that keep Victorian paramedics the best paid in the country Pay parity for undervalued Ambulance Victoria employees Paramedics not being forced to work alone Introduction of best practice drug testing. Paramedic and AEAV State Councillor Brett Adie said AEAV members were pleased the Victorian Government had agreed to take action on all outstanding claims. “There is still much work to be done to ensure a safe working environment for all paramedics, especially those in rural areas,” Mr Adie said. “Ambulance Victoria has finally acknowledged the risk of environmental exposure to drugs such as ketamine and committed to working with […]

NSW school cleaners outraged by inappropriate coronavirus request to clean for Diamond Princess crew in Japan

MEDIA RELEASE   NSW school cleaners outraged by inappropriate coronavirus request to clean for Diamond Princess crew in Japan   United Workers Union is extremely concerned that NSW school cleaners employed by services giant Broadspectrum have been approached by supervisors via site visits and text messages requesting they go to Japan to clean. The approach has caused confusion with many members being told that it would be to clean ‘the coronavirus ship’ but with Broadspectrum now stating to the media that it is to clean a quarantine station for Diamond Princess crew. Text messages sent to school cleaners said: A really great opportunity has arrived. Would you like to earn some good money … all you need is a valid passport to go to Japan and clean for 6 days. Broadspectrum supervisors have not been able to inform school cleaners about the safety measures that will be put in place, […]

Win for NT emergency service workers diagnosed with PTSD

MEDIA RELEASE   Win for NT emergency service workers diagnosed with PTSD   In a big win for the Northern Territory’s dedicated emergency service workers, the Northern Territory Government has tabled amendments to the Return to Work Act. Most importantly, these amendments include presumptive post-traumatic stress disorder recognition for paramedics and fire fighters. Erina Early, United Workers Union NT spokesperson says, “This is the right thing to do for our paramedics and firefighters, and will bring about the cultural change needed in the territory’s emergency services. It will allow our paramedics and firefighters to be confident enough in putting their hands up to say they are struggling, without fear of any reprisal from their employers and insurers. “Claiming PTSD through workers compensation is stressful and challenging. For too long our paramedics and firefighters are made to feel worthless when they lodge a workers compensation claim. “The union never wants to […]

Canberra Airport must sack contractor for not paying workers affected by bushfires

MEDIA RELEASE   CANBERRA AIRPORT MUST SACK CONTRACTOR FOR NOT PAYING WORKERS AFFECTED BY BUSHFIRES United Workers Union, the security union, is calling on Canberra Airport to sack Certis Security Australia as their security contractor for not paying workers who were prevented from attending work due to the bushfires. The union says major multinational Certis Security has docked the pay of Canberra Airport staff showing an extraordinary level of disregard for the emergency circumstances being faced on the ground at the time. Workers who had tried to attend work, but were unable to due to smoke and bushfires, and workers who went home to check on properties, have been docked pay. During the bushfire crisis, acts of community spirit and kindness spread across the country. Certis Security’s actions fly in the face of this. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “It is clear that Certis is […]

ACT school cleaners celebrate success of ‘backsourcing’ their jobs

School cleaners in the ACT have completed their first successful week as new employees of the ACT Government. Bringing these jobs into the public sector has been cause for celebration among school cleaners, with many having endured wage theft and indefinite job insecurity for years. Leading economist Dr Jim Stanford has applauded the move for promoting safer and fairer workplaces. Karma Dema, school cleaner of four years said she felt proud to be part of the fight, “I am feeling very proud of our efforts in fighting for staff to go back in house and while it hasn’t been easy, we never gave up. “This will mean better pay and conditions, better job security and it will be life-changing for a lot of people. This just shows how powerful it is to be in a union because when you stand together through the thick and thin you will win.” Lyndal […]

NSW medical supply workers strike for a fair go

MEDIA RELEASE NSW medical supply workers strike for a fair go Onelink workers in Sydney’s logistics hub at Yennora went on strike at 5:00am this morning. Onelink provides medical supplies such as sanitary items, IV tubing and gowns to hospitals across NSW. 70 full-time workers and 20 casual and part-time workers at Onelink will strike for 24 hours in their fight to win a fair pay offer that reflects the importance of their work. The workers have been ripped off to the tune of almost $200 a week compared to those working for the same parent company in a warehouse 10 minutes away. These workers shift essential supplies to NSW hospitals, and say they deserve to be fairly compensated for their important work. Onelink is a trading name of Symbion, owned by the EBOS group, a multi-billion dollar company who reported almost $7 billion in revenue in 2019. Despite boasting ethical […]

Krispy Kreme’s “zombie” agreement ripping off Australian factory workers

MEDIA RELEASE   Krispy Kreme’s “zombie” agreement ripping off Australian factory workers   A Krispy Kreme worker has stepped up for her colleagues across Australia, lodging official documents to have the US company’s unfair “zombie” agreement killed. United Workers Union is assisting the worker who has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate global donut giant Krispy Kreme’s out-dated zombie enterprise agreement, made using the Howard Government’s “WorkChoices” legislation and benefitting the wealthy US owners. In the latest scandal plaguing the food and dining sector, manufacturing workers have been locked into working for wages and conditions at Krispy Kreme  that are well below community and industry standards – and for many years. The business has taken advantage of the out-dated agreement paying these workers a flat rate that, for most hours worked, is below the Food Manufacturing Award. Workers receive no evening penalty rates for evening shifts where they […]

Fine dining disaster: Dinner by Heston worker exploitation revealed

MEDIA RELEASE   Hospo Voice, the hospitality arm of the United Workers Union, is outraged to learn from a leaked administrator’s report that Dinner by Heston stole an extraordinary $4.5 million from its workers and that when the venue first opened Crown Resorts set up the “blueprint” for how these workers were engaged. Crown has tried to distance itself from Heston Blumenthal’s Melbourne-branded venue, which is facing eviction from Crown in just over a week, leaving dozens of highly-skilled hospitality staff out of work. BRI Ferrier, Dinner by Heston’s administrators, described the venue as a “a joint venture” between Crown Melbourne and Tipsy Cake Pty Ltd, a company located in a Caribbean tax haven. Today’s revelations include that the lease to Crown is only $1 a year, the venue trades using Crown bank accounts and Crown even takes a share of profits. Crown also paid a company related to Tipsy […]

Airport workers to stop work unless protective measures against coronavirus provided

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union, the security workers union, says that contractors servicing Australia’s major airports have dismissed requests from their workers to take protective measures against the coronavirus – choosing to put profits ahead of the safety of workers. Airport staff, including officers stationed at security checkpoints and facility attendants, may have no choice but to stop work, after being told they are not allowed to wear protective gear because this will make customers feel “uncomfortable”. In some cases, workers who have made a request to wear a mask have been threatened with disciplinary action. Access to basic hygiene, such as soap, has also been identified by security workers at Sydney Airport as a major cause for concern. The union says that contractor Certis Security Australia has so far failed to move on the issue. United Workers Union spokesperson for Property Services Damien Davie said: “It is appalling […]

Appalling Neglect of Aged Care Exposed in New Report

MEDIA RELEASE   The disgraceful situation facing Aged Care workers and residents in the failing Aged Care system has been highlighted once again in a report today to the Aged Care Royal Commission. New research shows Australia fares badly when compared internationally, with the highest reported level of residents in care but one of the lowest levels of spending on aged care. “The research demonstrates what United Workers Union has argued repeatedly: insufficient funding is going towards the people who provide care to Australia’s elderly,” United Workers Union Aged Care Director Carolyn Smith said today. The Flinders University research for the Aged Care Royal Commission also found overall staffing levels in aged care in Australia was lower than many other countries, stating: “Australia appears to provide lower levels of staffing overall in residential care in comparison to the USA, Denmark, New Zealand, Switzerland and Germany.” Ms Smith said: “In Australia’s […]

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 […]

Jobs must be saved at iconic Hobart pub

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union members at The Republic Bar will meet on Monday afternoon to discuss their futures in the wake of news that the iconic and independent North Hobart pub has been sold. The new owner, Pub Banc Group, also owns Cargo, Jack Greene, T42 and several other Hobart establishments. The Republic Bar will formally move to their ownership in just a few weeks, on 4 February 2020. Jannette Armstrong from United Workers Union, the hospitality union, says, “It is disappointing that it appears Pub Banc has chosen not to keep on the core staff who have made The Repub the friendly, welcoming, well-patronised institution it is. United Workers Union understands that permanent staff have already been made redundant, while other casual staff have yet to hear if their employment will continue with Pub Banc. “Most Hobartians will have fond memories of big nights, great gigs, and […]

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 […]

Morrison Government continues aged care neglect in MYEFO

MEDIA RELEASE   The Federal Government has failed to deliver the urgent funding required to fix aged care in this year’s Mid-Year-Economic Forecast. Once again they have completely neglected to address the sector’s systemic workload and funding issues. Australians heard many harrowing stories in the Aged Care Royal Commission throughout 2019 about the effects of the chronic understaffing in aged care – like rushed and inadequate times for meals and incontinence pads being rationed. MYEFO was the opportunity for this Government to take action. United Workers Union aged care director Carolyn Smith says, “The elderly in Australia and the aged care providers who face going to the wall have seen no new commitments in today’s Mid-Year Economic Forecast. “Today the Morrison Government served up a rehash of their previous announcement on 25 November, alongside their surplus obsession. “They had promised $1.073 billion for the sector, but today’s MYEFO is far […]

Correctional Officers escalate overtime bans ahead of final court week

MEDIA RELEASE   Overtime bans by Correctional Officers will be escalated this morning. The ban will disrupt remand hearings on one of the last court sitting days before Christmas. With the Tasmania Prison Service in crisis and the Hodgman Government refusing to negotiate, Correctional Officers say they have no other option. Correctional Officers and their supporters will mark the commencement of the bans with a ‘honk off’ outside Risdon Prison this morning. Correctional Officers have rejected the Hodgman Government’s pay offer and the continued lack of action on understaffing and working conditions. The overtime bans will impact the role of the Tasmania Prison Service to facilitate its duty to the community of Tasmania. The escalation of protected industrial action comes as United Workers Union delegate and Correctional Supervisor Philip Pregnell writes to the Premier and Corrections Minister Elise Archer outlining the shocking toll of the current workplace issues on workers. […]

Aged care workers have their say: 16 workforce recommendations presented to Royal Commission

Aged care workers have presented 16 recommendations to the Aged Care Royal Commission, as the Commission commences the last week of hearings for 2019. The wide-ranging workforce reforms will achieve a best practice aged care system for workers and the elderly Australians in their care. The United Workers Union submission levels heavy criticism at the Morrison Government for their historical and ongoing irresponsible, unaccountable approach to funding for aged care. Chronic underfunding and the resulting systemic workforce issues have been the major theme to emerge in the Aged Care Royal Commission. The United Workers Union workforce submission recommends reforms to impose minimum staffing levels, overhaul funding, introduce industry bargaining and qualification requirements. Recommendations presented to the Royal Commission today include: RECOMMENDATION: the Federal Government must introduce targeted funding for the aged care workforce to ensure funding goes directly to improving the wages and working conditions of aged care workers RECOMMENDATION: […]

Correctional Officers commence overtime bans!

Correctional Officers have commenced a ban on overtime and recalls from 7:00am this morning. Officers will not accept overtime hours and will not accept a recall to duty for a shift for 24 hours starting today. The overtime and recall ban is the next step in Correctional Officers’ schedule of protected industrial action. Officers have rejected the Hodgman Government’s pay offer and the continued lack of action on understaffing and working conditions. Today’s action by members will highlight the significant personal contribution Correctional Officers make to a safer Tasmania by going above and beyond their rostered hours. Under the current staffing crisis, overtime and recalls move prisoners out of their cells and into the programs and appointments they need for rehabilitation. The 24-hour action will undoubtedly impact on out-of-cell hours, with the understaffed roster insufficient to provide safe staffing levels for operation. It may also impact programs, professional appointments and […]

Pizza maker accused of million dollar wage theft

One of Australia’s largest supermarket pizza manufacturers is accused of systemically underpaying vulnerable migrant workers in a case lodged in the Federal Court this morning. United Workers Union will pursue Melbourne pizza manufacturer Della Rosa for chronic underpayments in the vicinity of one million dollars and for compensation for breaching the workplace rights of predominately Indian and Afghani workers. United Workers Union, the union for food manufacturing workers, alleges that 21 former workers were paid a flat rate by Della Rosa and denied overtime payments, shift loading, and public holiday rates. The pizzas made by these workers are supplied to Coles, Woolworths and IGA stores across Australia. Susie Allison, United Workers Union Director of Food and Beverage says, “Today Della Rosa will answer to their workers who have had almost one million dollars stolen from them. Workers in the factory were paid a flat rate even if they were working […]

Head chef cooks up union wins!

Working as a head chef is a busy job at the best of times, so when United Workers Union member Daniel Strange set about unionising his workplace in a non-unionised sector he really had his work cut out for him. After quizzing the owners of the Brisbane restaurant where he works about illegal contracting and underpayments of wages, his employer made changes  including redrafting salary contracts with a total increase of around $3000 per year plus backpay and super. They also agreed to phase out split shifts, and reduced workers’ unfair workloads from an average of 60 hours a week to 40 hours. They then adjusted employee pay levels based on the job performed, resulting in most casuals being moved to a higher level of pay. Along the way Daniel was able to unionise most of his kitchen team including the operations manager and a new chef who signed up […]

WA education department underpays 27,000 low paid cleaners, gardeners and home economic assistants

United Workers Union, the union for school cleaners, gardeners and home economic assistants have today been notified of historic underpayments of 27,000 by the Education Department stemming back to 1983. United Workers Union State Secretary Carolyn Smith said the underpayments are a serious issue that must be rectified. “These are some of the lowest paid workers, who work in environments that are often dangerous and physically demanding,” she said. “The work they do is important and is often unseen and they truly deserve every cent for the jobs they do in providing quality services to West Australian schools.” Ms Smith said members welcome the Government’s commitment to repaying workers past the 6 year legal threshold. “Members welcome the State Government’s swift response to the findings of the underpayments and support the full pay back of all workers affected – past and present. “The majority of people affected are no longer […]

Red alert – NT Ambos rally at last sitting day

Northern Territory paramedics will hold a silent rally outside the final sitting day of Parliament, calling for the Territory’s ambulance services to be transferred back to the Government. Erina Early, United Workers Union NT spokesperson says, “Today, we once again call for control of the Northern Territory’s ambulance services to be transferred to the Government. “It’s time to stop the privatisation of the NT ambulance service and we’ll be rallying outside the last sitting day demonstrating disapproval of the Government’s lack of support of our NT paramedics, patient transport and emergency medical despatchers. “United Workers Union members want to see the service back under government control in order to secure more access to training, support for staff and a better service for Territorians. “No emergency services should be privatised.”

Correctional Officers march off the job over pay and working conditions

Correctional Officers will march off the job at 3:00pm to hold a stop work meeting as the start of rolling industrial actions in the Tasmanian Prison Service to demand safer conditions for staff and inmates and suitable wages. Correctional Officers have rejected the Hodgman Government’s insulting pay offer* and the continued lack of action on understaffing and working conditions. They also condemn the Hodgman Government’s plans to introduce a lower paid level of worker into the prison system and deskill the workforce. This underhand move is a blatant attempt to force Correctional Officers to back down on their fight for a fair pay rise and improved working conditions, and is a law and order issue – lower qualified workers would not be trained in use of force and unable to restrain a prisoner in the event of an assault or an escape. Correctional Officers walked off the job in June. […]

Band aid announcement fails to address systemic aged care issues

United Workers Union welcomes the additional home care packages and training for dementia announced today. But the Morrison government’s announcement completely fails to address the systemic workload and funding issues in aged care. Workers spoke out about the huge impacts of their crushing workloads and lack of time to provide quality care in the largest ever survey of aged care workers released last month. Carolyn Smith, United Worker Union’s National Director of Aged Care says, “Today’s announcement fails to address the chronic funding needs sector-wide. “The Morrison government just continues to deal out band aids to this sector. The Royal Commission has explicitly addressed the fact that workforce is the key to providing quality care, and this announcement completely fails to provide funding for that. “Australia cannot wait for the final recommendations of the Royal Commission due this time next year for the Government to act comprehensively on the crisis […]

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 […]

Racism and bullying festers at Youfoodz Brisbane plant

MEDIA RELEASE   Racism and bullying festers at Youfoodz Brisbane plant   Brisbane based meal delivery business, Youfoodz, is using racial tactics to divide employees and keep migrant workers vulnerable says the United Workers Union (UWU). United Workers Union food & beverage spokesperson Imogen Beynon says last week’s racist video scandal is far from an isolated incident for the business, who has turned a blind eye to racially motivated attacks and systemic bullying and has allowed harassment to flourish amongst their mainly migrant workforce. “Like many migrant workers, Youfoodz workers have come to Australia to build a good life. Instead, what they found at Youfoodz is a culture of bullying, racism and extreme wage theft,” she said. “Rather than addressing the worksite’s culture of racism and bullying, the company is using it to drive productivity. “For example, while many workers get access to 10-minute breaks, Punjabi workers are often told […]

Lonsdale Street hospitality businesses fail to commit to stamping out sexual harassment and wage theft

MEDIA RELEASE   Lonsdale Street hospitality businesses fail to commit to stamping out sexual harassment and wage theft *** Lunchtime protest and launch of Respect is the Rule MIDDAY TODAY *** Hospo workers will march along Lonsdale Street today, calling for an end to sexual harassment and wage theft in hospitality. At the end of the march, workers will officially launch the Respect is the Rule campaign in Canberra. Hospo workers decided to launch the campaign following recent meetings where dozens of workers spoke about their experiences of wage theft and sexual harassment while working at venues along Lonsdale Street, including at Binny’s Kathitto and Knightsbridge (issues have been lodged with small claims & ATO). The workers elected a union delegate and decided that the first step they would take was to write to every employer on the eat strip. Hospo workers delivered a letter to every single employer on […]

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.  

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 […]

Disability workforce must have their voices heard in Royal Commission: Adelaide forums start today

MEDIA RELEASE   United Workers Union, the union for disability services workers, welcomes the Disability Royal Commission commencing community forums in South Australia this week. Australia’s disability services workers provide essential services to some of the most vulnerable members of our society. United Workers Union urges the Royal Commission to make the voices of workers in the sector an integral part of the Royal Commission. United Workers Union members will be participating in the forums to ensure that the voices of disability care workers are heard. At the same time the Royal Commission is underway, the Federal Government cannot neglect this sector, action is needed now ensure that inadequate and restrictive NDIS pricing stops hampering the provision of quality services and decent jobs in Australia’s disability services. Jennifer Connor, United Workers Union disability support member says, “Disability workers around Australia must be given a voice in the Royal Commission proceedings. […]

National Union of Workers and United Voice officially merge to create United Workers Union

MEDIA RELEASE   On 11 November 2019, National Union of Workers and United Voice will merge to create the United Workers Union. This marks the beginning of a new union committed to standing with everyday working people and our 150,000 members in their struggle for secure jobs, decent pay and respect at work. Both unions have a long history of organising around issues of casualization, wage theft and exploitation in low paid industries. Together, United Workers Union will have coverage across major supply chains of the Australian economy, with potential membership of up to two million workers. Quotes attributable to Tim Kennedy, United Workers Union National Secretary “Today is an exciting day for 150,000 members who are the face of a modern, diverse and powerful new union. Together we will take action to win job security and decency at work.“ “We are a union committed to social justice in Australia […]