Tonight Qantas management has locked-out its workers and grounded its plans across the world. The dispute itself is complicated, involving three unions, and lots of different issues. But at it's heart it's about Qantas's desire to fire 1,000 people, and outsource the jobs, cutting wages and conditions.
As they are crying poverty it is worth pointing out that the CEO, Alan Joyce, received a 71% increase in his pay, and now gets $5 million a year. Qantas's annual profit also doubled last year.
In Rangitikei, CMP meatworks demanded that its workers accepted a 20% pay cut. It has locked out union members until they agree to this pay cut. They have now been locked out for 11 days.
The recession gives employers power - and these lock-outs show that they're prepared to use it. The only way to stop employers doing what Qantas and CMP meatworks is doing - is not give in. The collective . By standing against companies, large and school, these workers are protecting other workers. Because if their bosses succeed other companies will take note and do the same.
I haven't heard what solidarity Qantas workers are asking for, although I'll try to update this post if I hear anything. But the CMP workers need money. There are 100 of them, and they're trying to survive without wages. You can donate through internet banking here:
38-9007-0894028-08 NZCTU – Disputes Fund
If you're in Palmerston North you can also make donations of food at the union centre.
There's more to say - and if it continues I'll say more. But the most important thing you can do this week to protect your wages and conditions (if you have a job) is to donate to the CMP workers lock-out fund.