Unions march through Brisbane as UGLy/Longford dispute passes 400 days

Nicholas McCallum

'Stand up! Fight back!' 

For more than 400 days workers at Longford in southeast Victoria have been picketing.

The workers were sacked in June 2017 by their bosses at UGL before being offered their jobs back at 40 per cent less pay with massive, unfair changes to their conditions. A deal voted up by 3 workers 3500km away was a strategic underhanded move was to undermine the current workforce conditions.

The “sham” agreement is an anti-worker, anti-union, anti-family insult to the Longford workers – members of the ETU, AMWU and AWU – who have been locked out of their site and negotiations Exxon ever since.

Unions form up to march at the ACTU Congress in Brisbane.

The UGLy/Longford picket line on its 400th day.

Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has paid no tax in Australia since 2013. And it won’t pay any until 2021. That’s eight years paying no tax.

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Days before the dispute passed its 400th day, locked workers Dane Coleman, from the Electrical Trades Union, and Troy Carter, from the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, headed to Brisbane this July to update the ACTU Congress about their ongoing struggle

While there, officials from the Sparkies and Metal Workers’ unions were joined by delegates from dozens of comrades from Australia’s trade unions to march in the midday sun to offices of UGL to demand justice.

ETU member Dane Coleman and ETU Victoria Organiser Peter Mooney.

ETU National Assistant Secretary Michael Wright headed to the Longford picket line to stand with the strikers on the 400th day of their action.

“It’s unbelievable how long these workers have been standing against one the largest corporations in the world,” he remarked.

“The bosses have been hoping they would have buckled by now but they are standing firm and have been for 400 days.

“It’s only made them 400 days stronger.”

 Dane Coleman of the ETU and Troy Carter of the AMWU address the ACTU Congress.

Their fight for fairness with one of the biggest, richest companies on earth continues as they and their workmates see cheap FIFO workers brought in to carry out the work.

Their fight is just one of the reasons why we need to Change The Rules.

 


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