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AWU calls for immediate reinstatement of workers locked out without pay by Rocla in Western Sydney

March 18, 2020

More than 50 workers at Rocla in Emu Plains have been locked out of their workplace without pay, in a move the Australia Workers’ Union (AWU) has called highly irresponsible and highly aggressive.

Rocla made the decision late on Friday afternoon following a 10-month pay dispute which resulted in a 24-hour strike commencing on Friday morning.

We are not after heaps – just a little bit more to support our families and support ourselves. We are not going to put up with this,

It is not like we are asking for 10% or 20%. We are asking for a tiny amount.

 

“It is pretty bad. I will struggle to pay my rent next week. I will have to find another job if I can’t get back in the gate,. Who knows what is going to happen?”
His partner said:

I feel like I am on the only one earning any money. It is pretty stressful calling my boss and asking for overtime to pay the rent.

 

The AWU, which has been representing the concrete workers, had been calling for a three precent increase but Rocla has refused to budge above two percent.

“Families across the country are rightly worried about their job security and ability to pay their bills with the looming coronavirus threat,” said Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the AWU.

These are all local workers who have families to support. It’s incredibly irresponsible for Rocla to ratchet up this action and stand them down. Just imagine the repercussions if their partner also lost their job due to the virus, or had to self-isolate without pay.

 

“We are talking about workers who were only making around $25-30 an hour and deserved this extra pay. It’s not much in the grand scheme of things for Rocla financially but would make a big difference to these workers.”

Fletchers Building Group, which owns Rocla, is in the midst of selling off this Rocla site. The lock out essentially means production will grind to a halt

Mr Walton added: “This is a very productive site and it makes no sense to shut it down especially when they are trying to sell it.

“We are hoping cooler heads will prevail over the coming days and Rocla re-opens this site and agrees to this very modest pay increase. It’s the right thing to do for these workers and it’s also the right business decision.”

The AWU has filed a request for urgent conciliation assistance from the Fair Work Commission.

 

 

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