Employees left with bitter taste after brewery sackings
Carlton United Breweries (CUB) workers in Melbourne are continuing their campaign for justice after maintenance workers were terminated without notice and offered a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ non-union deal with a 65 per cent wage cut.
The 55 fitters and electricians, members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) and Electrical Trades Union (ETU), had their employment terminated from the CUB’s Melbourne brewery in June.
The workers were then told they could re-apply for their jobs from a new contractor who would re-employ them on base wage rates significantly less than those contained in their current collective agreement.
The offer of individual contracts came with no guarantees of job security and a massive loss of wages and conditions.
The AMWU and ETU are contesting the dismissals and demanding reinstatement and respect for existing agreements.
A recent rally at CUB’s Brisbane office drew support from various Queensland unions, including IEUA-QNT representatives.
Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said the rally was to show solidarity with 55 sacked CUB workers from the multinational’s Melbourne brewery, and warned the company against attempting similar moves in Queensland.
“The treatment of these workers is just another disgraceful demonstration of corporate greed and the determination of large corporations like CUB to avoid their obligations through the practice of outsourcing.
The company, now owned by SAB Miller, has also proposed a deal to Queensland CUB workers that would allow work to be contracted out at a cheaper rate instead of being undertaken by permanent staff.
ETU Organiser Beau Malone said that because of CUB’s disgraceful treatment of workers at the Abbotsford plant, the current agreement proposed by the company has been knocked back by Yatala workers due to concerns about the lack of job security provisions in the proposal.
“All workers want stability in their employment, and these members are no different,” Mr Malone said.