These are the people who keep the machinery running and all. It must be said that protected industrial action takes some time to organise. About three weeks in my experience. First you have to have a secret ballot as to whether you want to strike or not. Then you have to have a mass meeting and vote on a day to strike. These aren't wild cat strikes, but a last resort to get the gov back to the negotiating table. All done in accordance with the law.
Unfortunately this gov couldn't organise it's way out of a wet paper bag :s
AMWU members in Defence have joined an army of Australian public servants revolting against the Abbott Government by voting this week to trigger their right to take protected industrial action against proposed wage cuts.
Members turned their sights on the Federal Coalition after talks broke down with Defence Department bureaucrats, who could do no better than offer a pathetic 3.16 per cent pay rise, effectively over four years.
Any value would be more than offset by two days lost leave each year and a working week 30 minutes longer.
Disruption of vital work which keeps the military’s defence equipment ready for action now looms, the latest hit to Employment Minister Eric Abetz and his Cabinet colleagues who have picked an ideological fight on all fronts of the public service.
Members vented their fury by endorsing 10 options including bans and strike action, all receiving at least 87 per cent backing.
The vote came a week after Defence Minister Kevin Andrews announced a major restructure of the department, including absorption of the Defence Materiel Organisation with a loss of 1000 jobs.
“No one in their right mind would accept this pay offer and if the Government thinks they can implement massive structural change in Defence without the co-operation of their workforce, they are delusional,” said AMWU Assistant National Secretary Mike Nicolaides.
“You can’t treat your expert workforce like dirt then expect them to cooperate with change which the First Principles Review admitted would require a major cultural shift to implement.”
A hook-up of senior delegates and officials will decide next week on appropriate action. more