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Foster's Yatala Workers Want Union Rights and a Union Agreement Now!

Posted to the IUF website 03-Sep-2007

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On September 3 a large majority of the 280 workers employed by Foster's Yatala brewery near Brisbane, Australia voted to reject the non-union agreement that the company is trying to impose using the Howard government's anti-labour "Work Choices" legislation. The strength of their "no" vote is illustrated by the fact that some 200 workers are involved in the beer production process, but 264 votes were cast. The 62 additional votes (two ballots were declared invalid) were presumably cast by off-site managerial and clerical workers. Under the new industrial relations law, unions have no access to the ballot roll!

Since July, Foster's has stubbornly refused to recognize and engage in negotiations with the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU), the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) both IUF affiliates - and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU), jointly representing a majority of Yatala workers (click here for background).

Besides denying workers their fundamental right to be represented by their unions for collective bargaining, Foster's non-union contract would pay Yatala workers up to 35% less than their colleagues at unionized Foster's facilities in Australia.

Act now! What you can do

The unions at the Yatala brewery are energetically campaigning in their communities and in the wider Australian labour movement in support of their demands. International support can boost their efforts. IUF affiliated-UNITE (T&G section) and CAW representing workers brewing Foster's in the UK and Canada have already expressed their support for the Yatala workers' struggle (click here and here to view their solidarity messages to the Yatala workers).

You too can send a message. Tell Foster's to respect the Yatala workers' choice for a union agreement and start good faith collective bargaining negotiations with their union representatives. Click here to send a message to Foster's corporate and plant management!

A copy of your message will be automatically sent to the IUF and conveyed to the unions.

We thank you in advance for your solidarity and support.