Occupy Tingalpa! PepsiCo Smiths Chips workers demand equal treatment for casual employees
Members of the IUF-affiliated National Union of Workers (NUW) at a Smith's snack foods warehouse in the Brisbane suburb of Tingalpa have been occupying their lunchroom since November 27 in a dispute over equal treatment for casual and labour hire employees. You can show your solidarity with the NUW at Smith's by signing their petition HERE.
Workers voted on November 21 to ban overtime, paperwork and unloading trucks at the company's Tingalpa warehouse began their sit-in when the company told workers they would not be paid while taking industrial action.
NUW national secretary Tim Kennedy said the key sticking point in negotiations for a new enterprise agreement was the company's refusal to pay non-permanent workers the same rates as permanent employees.
"The fundamental issue is equality of treatment for workers, whether casual or otherwise," he said. "The workers simply want the same terms and conditions to apply to everyone."
Kennedy said the workers had rejected a revised offer that paid annual increases of about 3%, but did not extend to paying "site rates" for all workers. He added that the lower pay and conditions for casuals and labour hire workers was a "fundamental problem" in enterprise bargaining nationally.
NUW members are fighting for a fair pay deal, especially for casual workers who get paid less for doing the same work, and jobs workers can count on with permanent positions. The NUW has created the #OccupyTingalpa hashtag and is posting photographs and updates from the sit-in on its Facebook page.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE!