What: Media conference at distribution centre strike
Where: Onelink, 81 Byron Rd, Yennora NSW 2161
When: Monday 15 May at 10:30 am
Who: UWU spokesperson and striking workers
Contact: Jess Flood: 0424 530 019
United Workers Union (UWU) members at a Western Sydney hospital and health supply distribution centre began strike action by walking off work at 12:01 am this morning.
Workers have been locked into bargaining with the company – Onelink – for more than four months in an effort to secure pay rates and redundancy entitlements that were in line with the rest of the industry.
Onelink is wholly owned by EBOS group, which also has Terry White Chemmart, Pharmacy Choice + and a host of other pharmacies under its banner.
At other EBOS sites, workers were paid $4 to $7-an-hour more than the Yennora Onelink workers.
In the meantime, EBOS recorded a profit of almost $150 million in 2022.
Onelink’s main contract is to supply medical equipment such as gloves, masks and toilet paper to NSW Health. It also has smaller contracts with some private healthcare facilities.
UWU official Aesha Aswan said the company was not short of cash and could afford pay rises which would allow workers at Onelink to keep up with inflation.
“Our members have turned up through heightened anxiety of COVID-19 to make sure the state’s health facilities remained stocked with essential equipment such as latex gloves and masks,” Aswan said.
“Without these workers showing up in trying circumstances, our hospitals would not function.
“It doesn’t make sense that the workers at Onelink are paid so much less than their counterparts at similar distribution centres, owned by the exact same company.
“Workers never take strike action lightly, they’ll be losing pay during a cost-of-living crisis, but they cannot afford for their wages to go further backwards in such uncertain times.”
Onelink workers are currently on between $26 – $28-per-hour and are seeking a pay rise which would improve wages between $4 to $7-an-hour over three years.
UWU Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]