The Rise of Industrial Blackmail

If you listen to your boss talk, you might think everything is fine in the workplace.

They might spin you some fancy fairy tale about how you’re a “valued team member” and part of “one big family”. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

It’s all lies.

The rules are supposed to give workers and bosses an equal say. After all, workers are the ones who actually make the things that the bosses sell! Shouldn’t they have a voice, since they do all the work?

The way things are supposed to happen is that workers and bosses negotiate together, to come up with an agreement that gives both of them what they want.

At strong union sites, that is what happens. When lots of workers join the union, the boss knows they have to respect the workforce and they negotiate with them.

But when workers don’t join the union in large numbers, bosses are able to turn to industrial blackmail to get what they want.

How do they do it?

Bosses put a terrible agreement on the table and say “If you don’t vote yes to this agreement, I’ll tear it up and send you back to the minimum wage instead”.

It’s blackmail. It’s outrageous. But it’s completely legal.

The rules in Australia are so broken, that any boss is allowed to ask the Fair Work Commission to tear up an agreement they don’t like – and the odds are they’ll get their way.

This means workers who don’t join the union in large numbers are now getting blackmailed into choosing between a pathetic pay rise of 1% (or less) that the boss is offering, usually along with a massive cut to conditions…

…or a massive pay cut of anywhere from 30-50%.

Some choice, right?

Just ask the workers at Streets Ice Cream in Minto in Sydney. They know what it’s like.

Streets just asked the Fair Work Commission in August to tear up the agreement for their ice cream workers at the Minto plant. This will slash their wages by an incredible 46%!

That’s a 46% pay cut – all because the Minto workers didn’t want to agree to Streets bad deal and voted it down.

How is that fair?

The same thing is happening in Western Australia, where teachers and professors at Murdoch University are about to lose 30% of their wages.

Murdoch University management applied to the Fair Work Commission and asked them to tear up the agreement… and they succeeded.

Now the teachers at Murdoch are about to lose everything if they don’t agree to management’s new deal.

Stand up, fight back

Only when workers join the union in large numbers are you protected against this industrial blackmail.

On your own, you can be ignored. But when you stand together, you can force the boss to listen.

When the rules are so broken, you need to stand together.

Join the union today and stand up for your rights.