Asia / Oceania
Caterpillar locks out workers in Australia
Jul, 02 2012
(Australia) -- Bucyrus, a member of Caterpillar group of companies, producer of mining machines in New South Wales, Australia locked out 150 workers, members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU). IndustriALL Global Union calls for solidarity.
The dispute arose over a wage offer made by the company, which the union believes is not fair and rejects the main part of the proposal made by workers about the introduction of a nine-day fortnight to compensate for the differences in the wage structure as compared with the mining industry.
The workers’ proposal is based on the fact that despite having similar specialized skills they do not get similar incomes to their colleagues working in the mining industry and some have to work for 50 to 60 hours a week in order to keep up with company’s need for overtime. While solving the problem of disparity of income the workers’ proposal would not cost additional money to the company. However the company rejected the proposal with no further discussion.
As the last measure to find a solution and let their voice be heard the workers went on strike. The company claimed the strike is illegal and locked them out.
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