Rogue of the month: OI Glass

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Thanks to Jeremy from the Electrical Trades Union for nominating OI Glass for our ‘Rogue of the month’ column.

OI Glass are a multi-national glass manufacturer that haven’t given their Australian maintenance workers a real pay rise for around 7 years.

The company is said to be the biggest glass manufacturer in the world and has an effective monopoly on the market in Australia. They make about 90% of all glass containers including for beer, wine and soft drinks.

About 100 members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Electrical Trades Union in Melbourne and Brisbane have been trying to secure an agreement with the company since last November.

But despite turning over $2.6 billion in Australia between 2013-17 (and paying no tax during that time!) the bosses say they can’t afford to pay the workers decent wages.

But like most struggling big businesses, they still managed to find $11 million to pay their CEO, who reportedly gets around in a private jet!

The bosses put forward a dodgy agreement but the workers roundly rejected it. The company is now using scabs to do some of the maintenance work while the union members have been engaged in protected rolling stoppages and work bans.

As we go to press the company are refusing to negotiate with the unions, and have threatened to terminate the existing agreement. If successful, this would throw the workers back onto the minimum standards of the Award.

This tactic has become common practice for bosses in recent years and the wider trade union movement needs to make a stand against it. Stop work action at other OI plants should be encouraged, along with mass pickets aimed at stopping scabs and production entirely.

The bosses at OI Glass are a shifty bunch indeed, and for that they win our ‘Rogue of the month’ award for October 2019.


To nominate a dodgy boss, greedy landlord or corporate stooge for our ‘Rogue of the month’ column email The Socialist HERE.