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Issue #1903      February 17, 2020

Onelink workers strike

YENNORA, NSW – Last Monday, Onelink workers were striking for better pay, refusing to let trucks (that weren’t delivering crucial medical supplies) from entering the premise. Onelink is a subsidiary of Symbion, who describe themselves as “a national wholesaler of healthcare services and products with over 4,000 retail pharmacy customers and 1,300 hospital customers across Australia.”

According to Matt Toner, Director of the United Workers Union (UWU) logistics team, “Symbion pays its workers in Greystanes, which is about ten minutes drive from Yennora, $200 a week more, to do very similar work – warehousing in the pharmaceutical industry. Symbion offered 3.2, and 3 [per cent pay increase over three years], the members before they went on strike wanted 4, and 3. I’ve calculated the difference between 3.2 and 4 [per cent], it’s roughly $40,000, which is bugger all for a multibillion-dollar company.”

Storeworkers such as Tiresa, who had been with Onelink virtually since it opened in 2015, highlighted how much the small pay increase would help the lives of Onelink employees. “A few cents, or a few dollars all adds up, and it makes a difference. The cost of living these days is shocking. So to make life easier, we need a few dollars on top of what we have at the moment.”

Storeworkers like Chris were astounded that Onelink couldn’t meet their meagre demands: “To the shock of everyone, a multimillion dollar pharmaceutical company didn’t want to increase [our hourly rate] by 20¢. That is why people are striking today. Everything is going up in Australia, and if the workers cannot get an increase in wages, how does [Onelink] think its employees can meet their expenses? Management says it loves its workers but they have to show that love. In order for workers to be productive, you have to make the workers happy and to do that all we want is a 20¢ [per hour]. “So this whole strike is just trying to bring awareness to the company that the people will stand together in unity, and it’s only when we’re united that we can be successful. Without unity, we’re divided. As a union I know we can overcome and get the rates we actually need. ”

Toner echoed Chris’ sentiments stating, “This is a matter of principle. It’s good that all of our members are out here, standing together, showing the boss that they’re serious about their claims.”

Next article – Communism is National as well as International

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