News

End this national disgrace say Educators

Hundreds of early childhood educators will march through central Melbourne this morning as they push to overturn one of the great bastions of gender-based pay discrimination.

The march will coincide with events across Australia today as educators kick off a grassroots campaign to speak directly to politicians and communities in key electorates, asking for support.

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Fear, exploitation sweep through Myer, as department store exposed as next 7-Eleven

Retail icon Myer was tonight exposed on national television being cleaned by workers underpaid by up to $20 an hour, in what is shaping up to be another 7-Eleven-style scandal. 

Tonight ABC’s 7.30 program revealed another shocking example of the crisis of fear, insecurity and exploitation of vulnerable workers that is sweeping Australian workplaces.

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Cleaners are standing up for good, secure jobs

Across every part of our industry cleaners are joining together and speaking out to build a powerful union so we can win the fight for good, secure jobs.

Cleaners are achieving big things in our union. We've been in the national media, kicking out dodgy subcontractors, and are fighting for portable long service leave.

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Portable Long Service Leave critical

As Australias jobs debate heats up, workers in the growing services sector say they are missing out on basic entitlements, and are calling on the Victorian Government to follow other states and introduce a portable long service leave scheme.

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Grand final beer strike called off

Footy fans can breathe easier after union members called off a 24-hour strike at CUB’s Abbotsford brewery planned for today following a last-ditch wage offer.

Yesterday hundreds of United Voice brewery members strongly endorsed a new three-year deal that protects a 130 year tradition of good, secure jobs at CUB’s Victorian breweries.

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90% of guards vote YES to approve new Safeguard Agreement with Wilson Security

Wilson Guards are celebrating this week as 90% voted YES to their new Agreement. The Agreement protects their hard won Safeguard conditions, including shift penalties and public holiday, as well as securing back pay and fair wages.

To find out more, read the full update here.

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MEDIA RELEASE: Cleaners say homelessness likely if penalty rates are abolished

Forget about home ownership, if the Abbott government embraces a plan by Australia’s peak employer lobby group to abolish weekend rates, cleaners will struggle just to pay the rent.

Father Bob Maguire will today join hundreds of angry cleaners at 2.30pm at Trades Hall, for International Justice for Cleaners Day, to march on the Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s (ACCI) Melbourne office demanding it withdraws its proposal to strip penalty rates from Awards.

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Cleaner Gamal Babiker on the Fair Work Commission's minimum wage decision

The Age this morning features cleaner and proud United Voice member, Gamal Babiker, speaking out on why the meager ‎minimum wage increase is an insult to everyone struggling on a low income. He's also been quoted on SBS and Channel 9.

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From The Age:

Minimum-wage worker Gamal Babiker, 61, said the $16 weekly wage rise would do nothing to improve his life and ease financial stress. The Broadmeadows shopping centre cleaner, who works five days a week from midnight to 8am, said he was feeling the pinch of petrol prices which had skyrocketed since he moved to Australia from Sudan 16 years ago.

"The petrol price it was 50 cents a litre, and how much are they now. Will this help cover the difference? No," he said. "It will barely cover the cost of an extra cup of coffee every day."

Mr Babiker said he had accrued about $60,000 in superannuation, and feared it would not be enough to provide a comfortable life when he retires.

"I am not happy now, and I won't be happy in the future."

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Security members win breakthrough in negotiations with Wilson

Wilson has finally listened to guards’ concerns and agreed to protect shift penalties and public holiday pay for the life of the new Safeguard agreement! This is a huge breakthrough after the company tried for almost a year of negotiations to pursue either a full or partial cutback of the shift penalties and public holiday system.

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Please don't cut penalty rates. It's the only way I can feed my kids and pay my bills

By United Voice hospitality member, Mary O'Connor

This post originally appeared on the Guardian on 2 April 2015

I’m grieving the loss of the Australia I used to know, as various employer groups and politicians again attempt to make the case for a more “flexible” workplace relations system with more “competitive wages”. What happened to the land of the fair go – the Australia where there weren’t so much haves and have nots, but rather haves and haves-a-bit-less?

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Change is inevitable, I know, but change for the worse is terrible. While China and other countries are pulling their people out of poverty, our current leaders seem intent on grinding ours into it.

Wistfully I’m remembering an Australia where people were paid an honest rate for an honest job. Where penalty rates for working weekends, nights or holidays were seen as the fair and decent thing and where no one would have had the temerity to call penalty rates “obscene” and to expose themselves as the greedy buggers they are.

I know a bit about working weekends and relying on penalty rates to support my family. I work in catering in an aged care facility. It’s unglamorous but essential work. And while our prime minister might suggest that “if you don’t want to work on a weekend, fair enough don’t work on a weekend,” I think the elderly people we care for deserve good meals every day of the week and that means I work weekends.

 

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