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CUB dispute: labour hire firm quits

The labour hire firm at the centre of the Carlton and United Breweries (CUB) dispute in Victoria has terminated its contract with CUB.

The company, Programmed Maintenance, cited concerns over the health and safety of its employees – the ones who have taken the jobs of the 55 maintenance workers sacked by CUB in June this year.

The CUB workers were told they could have their jobs back on terms that would have meant an effective 65% reduction in pay.

Concerns over “health and safety” is another way of saying frustration at having to deal with the well-staffed picket line outside CUB which is still holding strong despite attempts by management to use anti-bullying laws to weaken it.

Late last month, the Fair Work Commission banned unionists and their supporters from approaching or harassing Programmed’s replacement workers and from calling them scabs or rats.

In response, unions have called in Scabby, a giant inflatable rat who is silent but evidently effective.

Electrical Trades Union (ETU) Victorian secretary, Troy Gray, said that the decision by Programmed to end its contract with CUB was “a step towards reinstatement of the CUB55.”

“Surely now common sense will prevail and CUB will reemploy all 55 maintenance workers,” he said.


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