ACTU Media Release, Thursday 18 May, 2017
CUB manager planned to ‘shoot’ workers shut out for refusing lower wages
A senate inquiry this morning revealed that CUB management kept notes describing the CUB 55 dispute in
2016 as a ‘war’ and had a strategy to ‘shoot the sh*t’ out of the striking workers in order to avoid paying
them their fair wages and conditions.
In August 2016, CUB dumped a longstanding contract that left 55 CUB workers without a job. The workers
were asked to reapply for their jobs with a new contractor but with their pay slashed by up to 65 per cent
and non-union conditions.
This dispute highlights the mentality of employers who feel unrestrained by the current workplace relations
system and have the power to attack workers and their rights in any way they see fit.
The outcome of that dispute, which saw the workers return to their jobs with their conditions intact, is to the
immense credit of the 55 workers who refused to be pushed around by the iconic Australian company and
the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Electrical Trade Union who supported them.
Quotes attributable to Australian Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sally McManus:
“The CUB 55 dispute showed that when working people pull together they have the power to take on the
biggest corporations in the world and win.”
“The actions of CUB management were a case study in how employers are rorting the system and how the
system is allowing them to get away with it.”
“The use of labour hire to cut the wages of existing jobs, the refusal to bargain in good faith, and the use of
enterprise agreements signed by tiny groups of workers on the other side of the country years before is all
“We welcome the admission today by CUB and InBev that CUB’s approach to the dispute was a mistake
which they will try to learn from in future.”
“The revelations from the senate inquiry this morning are concerning but show what unions are fighting
against every day — a system which has given too much power to employers. The mentality of these
employers is to rort the system, treat workers as a cost rather than as people and destroy union
agreements as a way to lower costs and cut corners.”
Media contact: ACTU Media 03 9664 7315 or Antonia Acott 0418 793 885