Donate to support workers at Coles Somerton
This strike is about making sure big corporations like Coles cannot simply avoid their responsibility to their workforce through contracting out. The workers are seeking 5 simple claims that win them equal rights and jobs they can count on:
- Time for workers to have with their family: the creation of a roster for day shift workers that allows them to take a rostered day off and voluntary public holiday system – so that workers can choose rather than be forced to work public holidays
- Shift loading to be paid for the entirety of a shift to a worker who does afternoon or night shift – not a couple of hours per shift as proposed by the company
- The automatic option for direct and indirect casuals to become permanent employees after 6 months
- Inclusion of basic union rights in the Agreement – such as Right of Entry
- A decent wage increase to catch up to other Coles warehouses
Even though both Coles and Toll could easily afford to meet these reasonable claims they are fighting hard. As Mark Judkins, Coles worker and NUW member, told The Age yesterday "They're fighting an ideological argument."
If you want to ensure we live in a country where some workers can't be treated like second class citizens then please donate to support the workers and their families.
Account Name: NUW Vic Coles Somerton Relief Fund
BSB Number: 063 074
Account Number: 10014540
For up to date information go to the campaign page here or visit the facebook page here.
NUW members win in Fair Work Australia today
12 July 2012
Fair Work Australia today rejected Toll's submission that the strike and picket line at the Coles warehouse in Somerton is illegal. Union members have been vindicated in their struggle for equality and dignity at work.
The ruling declared that the NUW has and is bargaining in good faith.
Fair Work also ruled today, in favour of the NUW submission to FWA, that management cannot put the same offer that members have already voted down for at least 21 days, and, in support of the Unions request, there must be at least three meetings between management and the Union before another offer is put to members.
After NUW members unanimously voted NO to the company offer yesterday, management tried to ignore the workers; invoking a provision of the Fair Work Act based on assertions that the NUW was not bargaining in good faith. This would have stalled negotiations for ten days.
It would have meant that the Coles warehouse would stand idle, causing enormous disruption to Coles Supermarkets and massively inconveniencing Coles customers, not to mention the incredible financial attack launched on managments' own employees.
Members are firm in their resolve to struggle for their rights to be recognized and to be treated equally along with all other Coles warehouse workers.
The NUW has again requested a meeting with Coles Supermarkets CEO, Ian McLeod this morning to commence discussion to resolve the issues in dispute. Ian Mcleod refused the invitation of a meeting.
The 600 Coles warehouse workers are simply seeking the right to be treated the same as other Coles warehouse workers. They want to be acknowledged and treated with dignity. They want to be paid a shift loading when they work an afternoon shift or night shift. They want the right to accrue time to have a rostered day off, so that they can spend time with their family and allow their body to recover from the high intensity physical work. Other Coles warehouse workers have these rights. It is only right and fair that these workers also have these rights.
The cost to Coles in providing these rights to 600 workers over the next three years is equal to only three months of this year's salary for Ian McLeod. The refusal of Ian McLeod to meet with the representatives of these workers reveals a bullying and arrogant culture at Coles.
These workers are brave in fighting fr their rights. It is a hard struggle, but an important one. For too long Coles has bullied our farmers, the food suppliers and its workers. Coles needs to reconsider its approach if it wants to change its reputation to one of a company that understands that with its great power comes the responsibility to act ethically and fairly.
When Coles recognises this responsibility and sits down with these workers a resolution is possible. Until that happens this is just an exercise of a big company bullying law abiding worker who want to be treated with respect and have a better life.