Melbourne workers being forced to reapply for jobs at lower pay a sign of things to come

June 27, 2016

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) is proud to stand with 55 sacked maintenance workers at Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) today who are being forced to reapply for their own jobs but with a 65% wage cut.

The sacked workers at CUB have refused to bow to the unreasonable demands of management and maintained a 24-hour protest at the site in Abbottsford.

The ACTU challenges Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to visit the workers on the site and see first-hand the reality of life for skilled tradespeople under his government.

The uncertainty faced by workers at CUB is mirrored by workers across the country who have been waiting six months for Employment Minister Michaelia Cash to make good on her promise to announce the Coalition’s industrial relations policy before the election.

Among recommendations from the Abbott/Turnbull Government’s Productivity Commission are measures to make it easier for businesses to fire people and force them to reapply for their jobs at lower pay.

But until Minister Cash finally comes clean — with just days left before the election — Australian workers have no idea whether they will also face the same situation as the workers at CUB under a returned Coalition government.

ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said employers should invest in its people rather than forcing wages down and exploiting the insecurity and anxiety that it has created in its own workforce.

“Carlton & United Breweries is blatantly exploiting these skilled workers — they should never have been sacked and should be rehired under the conditions they were on,” he said.

”What is deeply concerning is that this is what the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission sees as an example of best practice.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Turnbull Government has not released such a central section of its policy platform this close to the election. Minister Cash needs to be upfront with the Australian people and tell the electorate whether she believes this is how workers should be treated.”

“This government must provide workers with a measure of certainty by announcing their industrial relations agenda immediately.”

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