United Workers Union (UWU) members at cable manufacturer, Prysmian, in Western Sydney began indefinite strike action this morning following the company’s refusal to guarantee future job security.
Construction projects were likely to be disrupted across Australia following Prysmian’s unwillingness to offer workers a fair pay increase. UWU members are also fighting for an agreement that protects the wages of future workers.
Prysmian, which supplies most State Government power grids, along with major construction projects such as Westconnex, had been obfuscating since bargaining started in June, with limited information on its future plans for the Liverpool site.
Last year Prysmian Global recorded its best ever year with sales up more than 14 percent and recording a revenue of €1,488 million (AU $2.5 billion).
UWU National Secretary Tim Kennedy said it was admirable that Prysmian workers were willing to fight not just for their own jobs but for those coming up.
“Workers at the site tell me that Prysmian used to be a great place to work, somewhere where parents would encourage their kids to take up a career, an employer that looked after its Western Sydney community. Now it’s just a race-to-the bottom,” Mr Kennedy said.
“We know Prysmian is the recipient of lucrative Government contracts, we know the company is thriving financially. I cannot understand why instead of celebrating this by bringing its workforce along for the journey, the company’s position is to cut, cut, cut.
“The workers at Prysmian like so many others across Australia are feeling the pinch and something has to give.”
Workers began industrial action on Saturday through overtime bans and began an indefinite strike from 12:01am this morning. UWU members are resolved in continuing the strike until a more appropriate offer is tabled.
Comment from Prysmian worker, Shahrukh Khan:
“The company is losing faith amongst the workers and the culture has become bad at Prysmian.
“It used to be a place where I would see people’s children coming to work at the company, father and sons working alongside each other.
“Now the company is not even being transparent with workers. Prysmian is making money, but they don’t want to share it with workers.
“Meanwhile, the price of everything is going up and workers are struggling. The company need to respect workers and our union to negotiate a fair outcome.”
UWU Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]