After six picket lines over 53 days on five sites involving 1500 people, workers at Alcoa have voted to approve a new agreement which locks in job security by preventing the creep of contracting, labour-hire and casualization in the workplace.
This has been a difficult dispute but the workers at Alcoa have shown what is possible when workers stand together and demand fair treatment.
Workers faced the possibility of having their wages cut back to the award after the employer moved to terminate their agreement at the Fair Work Commission.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Congratulations to all the workers who stood up and demanded secure jobs, this is a great example of the power of working people.
“This is a major win for these workers and for the entire union movement.
“”The ACTU has been proud to stand with and support these workers who have been out on the grass for a month and a half.
“AWU members have stayed strong and refused to be intimidated by the possibility of being pushed back onto the award, but we have to change the rules so that no working person can be threatened in this way again.
“This has been an incredible effort and the workers involved have had to withstand an incredible amount of stress and uncertainty. It shouldn’t be this hard for workers to get better pay and conditions.
“Employers need to understand that if they try and threaten workers, we will stand up, we will be supported and we will fight for as long as it takes.”