TWU officials and members saluted the strength, courage and determination of 230 Longford gas maintenance workers and their families at a mass meeting held today to mark a year since they established a picket in their fight against Esso/Exxon and UGL.
The workers had their contracts torn up and were then sacked because they refused to sign up to a sham agreement that cut their wages and conditions by over 30%.
TWU (VIC/TAS Branch) Secretary John Berger, who attended at a tribute mass meeting held at the picket site today in Longford along with Assistant Secretary Chris Fennell and TWU organisers, said the workers and their families were heroes for sticking up for all hard-working Australians.
“This situation is a shining example of how broken the rules really are – it’s time to change the rules,” he said.
“These workers do not want to be running a picket in the freezing cold but they have been out here for over 8000 hours. They would rather be home with the kids and not fighting these multinationals – but it is about fairness and principle and being treated with respect and dignity – and that is why we are all here today in support and unity.
“These brave workers know that if they do not dig in and fight against what happened to them, every worker becomes vulnerable and we all lose. We need to all get behind them and behind the union movement’s push to change the broken rules that allowed this to happen.”