Saturday, April 19, 2014

Australia: Super A-Mart reaches agreement with locked out workers

Thirty-five locked out Super A-Mart warehouse employees in Melbourne’s north returned to work on April 15, ending a dispute over their first negotiated enterprise agreement. The National Union of Workers
members were locked out of the furniture company warehouse on March 7, after taking strike action on February 28. The company obtained a Supreme Court injunction to stop them picketing the Somerton plant.
Super A-Mart employees, who had not had a wage rise in four years, were only paid $20 an hour, $4 less than other warehouse workers. They wanted an immediate pay increase to $22 an hour, then to $26 by the end of three years, rostered days off, and conversion to permanent work for casuals employed at the site for three months. Dangerous workplace conditions were also an issue.
The settlement included safety improvements, casual conversion to permanency after six months, improved redundancy, a 10 percent wage increase over three years and a $750 sign on bonus.

SouthLink bus drivers in Adelaide vote to strike

Bus drivers employed by SouthLink, one of three public transport providers in South Australia’s capital Adelaide, have voted for 24-hour strike action on Tuesday or Wednesday next week. Their action is part of a campaign begun in January by 600 Transport Workers Union (TWU) members at SouthLink and Transfield to demand a 5 percent pay rise, a work-roster review to reduce fatigue, and for improved driver security.
The companies claim that the South Australian Labor government’s contract only allows for a 2.8 percent wage increase. Adelaide’s third bus company, Torrens Transit, however, recently agreed to a 4.5 percent pay rise. In the past, the TWU has limited its members’ action to four-hour stop work meetings and boycotted collecting fares or validating tickets.

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