The current Linfox contract, covering 17 sites across Australia, runs until 2022.
At 11am on Friday 8th June Linfox defence workers will take part in a nationwide mass action in response to the company’s insulting increase offer of 2% in the first year, with only 2.15% rises over the four year EBA. Members of the Nation Union of Workers have been taking action across various defence sites over recent weeks, donning their NUW hats to demonstrate their solidarity. The billion dollar contract between Linfox and the Department of Defence specifies that employees cannot demonstrate any political affiliation or support of a social cause, removing the right of union members to show their support. The current Linfox contract, covering 17 sites across Australia, runs until 2022 and is worth over a billion dollars to the company.
Workers at these Linfox sites provide a crucial service to the Australian Defence Force by managing the warehousing a distribution network that supports the ADF both at home and overseas. Workers across Australia are increasingly affected by the spectre of stagnating wage growth and rising living costs, while at the same time companies pull in huge profits via lucrative contracts. Put simply, skilled workers are not being recognised for their part in producing those substantial profits. Linfox are both denying union members the right to organise and demonstrate their affiliation, and failing to recognise the part workers across Australia play in securing the financial future of the company.
This is a familiar story. In an era of growing casualisation, low wage growth and continuous attacks on the ability of workers to organise, the power has been placed disproportionately in the hands of employers who put their profits before people. While the answer to this growing inequality of power is in part to seek changes in political leadership, it is also about reaffirming the solidarity of our movement and empowering our delegates to fight for workers on the floor.
When Linfox stand down members for the simple act of wearing their caps, they show how afraid even the largest companies can be when faced with a united, determined workforce; a workforce that understands the role they play in the success of that company and know that they are must be recognised and paid fairly for their work. The time for action to support all workers into secure, well paid work is now.
Linfox employees are the workforce behind the defence force – watch this space for updates and more news on how you can support our members!