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Issue #1471      8 September 2010

Unions send message to UPS

The Australian Transport Union Federation (TUF) last week held a protest outside the UPS depot in the southern Sydney suburb of Botany to support and International Transport Federation (ITF) international day of action against the company after it intimidated and sacked workers in Turkey.

Newly elected ITF president and national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, Paddy Crumlin, said that 157 workers had been sacked since April in an attempt to de-unionise the workforce.

“Here we have a multi-national corporation making millions of dollars a year while workers are forced to work up to 80 hour weeks for a paltry wage,” Mr Crumlin said.

“There are reports coming back to the ITF telling us that management has used firearms on a picket line in Izmir. This is disgraceful conduct and unions around the world are sending a message today that this behaviour will not be tolerated,” Mr Crumlin said.

The Australian protest kicked off a day of action across the globe with transport unions in the USA, Netherlands, Hong Kong, South Africa and Argentina confirming their protest actions.

ITF Vice Chair Asia Pacific Regional Conference and TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said that the intimidation and bullying by the company was not acceptable.

“We are seeing drivers in Turkey finish their days work and get directed on an overnight trip to other major cities throughout the country,” Mr Sheldon said.

“There are drivers getting their pay docked if they stop for a toilet break – these pressures can only lead to unsafe working practices and deaths on the roads, and that is a major concern.

“The management and employees of UPS in Australia needs to be aware of what is happening in other parts of the world. The sacked workers need to be reinstated immediately and we will be sending the message up the management structure that the actions can’t be condoned and need to be stopped,” Mr Sheldon said.

TUF’s membership includes the Rail Tram and Bus Union, the Maritime Union of Australia and the Transport Workers Union of Australia.  

Next article – Massive surge in coal and iron ore earnings

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