Workers at Fletcher Insulation have won better terms on redundancies, use of casual labour and working hours, after a 96-day strike.
The 90 glass wool workers, who are members of IndustriALL Global Union affiliate, the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), will return to work on 1 June 2017. They managed to win key improvements in their working conditions after their employer threatened to strip benefits, force redundancies and bring in labour hire contractors.
Throughout the strike action, the Dandenong plant management threatened to dismantle workers’ previous enterprise bargaining agreement and force all employees back on an agreement that would halve wages and remove almost all their entitlements.
IndustriALL has expressed solidarity with Fletcher Insulation workers since the strike began on 17 February. IndustriALL’s executive committee adopted a special resolution in support of AWU members on strike at Fletchers Insulation in Australia at its meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in April.
Commenting on the results of the strike action Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union representing Fletcher Insulation workers said:
“Holding out for 96 days is an incredibly hard thing, requiring real solidarity and real bravery.
“I know the support these workers received from around Australia and the globe gave them the energy and hope they needed to continue during this testing period.
“By holding tight these workers were able to shift management from a range of extreme positions that were being proposed. Our whole union has nothing but respect and admiration for their courage.”
In commemoration of the Fletcher workers’ victory AWU produced a short video with the results of the strike https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyJaFzN3v08.
IndustriALL General Secretary Valter Sanches said,
“We congratulate wholeheartedly all the Fletcher Insulation workers with this victory. Thanks to their unity, resolute efforts and courage, the solution of this conflict has been in favour of employees and their families. We are very glad that the global solidarity actions, carried out by IndustriALL and our affiliates worldwide, contributed to this victory.”