Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

Victorian Posties get militant!

Reading Time: < 1 minutes

January 2004 saw almost 300 Australia Post workers in Victoria take industrial action for the first time in years.
The dispute arose from plans by Australia Post to move a mail centre from its current site in Port Melbourne to a new site in Ardeer.Attached to the move, amongst other things, were plans to cut full time jobs to casual positions and increase mail-sorting rates. Also workers have expressed concerns at the lack of staff facilities at the new site.
The Communication Workers Union (CWU) swiftly organised a picket at the Ardeer site followed by a 24 hour stoppage and pickets affecting a further six sites.
This action was a huge success with all sites being shut down for the day and the only scabs to cross the picket lines coming from Australia Post management.
This modest strike was very significant for all postal workers because it showed that the new militant leadership in Victoria, led by Joan Doyle, is far from being in the pockets of management as the previous leadership was.
This is just the first stage in this campaign with things looking to intensify in March when this dispute, if unresolved, will couple with a new round of EBA negotiations involving up to 10,000 workers.
For far too long Australia Post have had their way driving down workers wages and conditions whilst at the same time increasing the salaries of management and making record profits.
It is unfortunate that the Federal leadership of the CWU does not have the same fighting approach to these problems but it seems in Victoria at least the honeymoon is now over for Australia Post.