Labour bites

Testing times for pathology

Dorevitch Pathology workers have once again committed to an indefinite strike against an ‘immoral’ 0% pay rise offer. Health Services Union Secretary Diana Asmar said workers have returned to work after issuing an ultimatum for Dorevitch to produce a fair pay offer or workers would strike again.

Ms Asmar said workers had waited since 2007 for new pay deal. “Primary Health, the company that owns Dorevitch, issued a statement that their profits have gone up on last year, now at $92 million with reported revenue at $1.7 billion,” she said. “It is immoral that they should offer their workers a 0% pay rise after making them wait 10 years.”

A Dorevitch Pathology spokesperson said they had experienced minimal disruption to services but did not comment on the lack of pay increases. (Source: Border Mail)

Segregation it’s not over yet

In New York the electronics company B&H Photo Video has agreed to pay $3,220,000 to settle a discrimination suit filed by the Department of Labor that charged the retail giant with implementing unfair hiring, compensation, and promotion practices at its warehouse in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The amount, as the department announced yesterday, will be paid in back wages and other monetary relief to over 1,300 affected individuals.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) had filed a 33 page complaint in February 2016 that outlined 15 violations of how the workforce at the facility – one of two it owns in Brooklyn – was divided along racial lines. The document accused B&H of exclusively hiring Hispanic men to fill entry-level jobs, thereby discriminating against female and black and Asian jobseekers. It also claimed that Hispanic workers were paid significantly less than white workers with comparable duties and were also denied opportunities for promotions. Additionally, these men allegedly had to use segregated restrooms and were often subject to verbal harassment, including racist comments, which went ignored by management. (Source: Hyperallergic)

Pratt still not wealthy enough

Australia’s richest man Anthony Pratt’s company, the cardboard box and recycling giant Visy is suing almost 70 workers and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) over claims of unlawful industrial action.

Mr Pratt who has an estimated $12.6 billion fortune is taking the workers and the AMWU to federal court seeking fines and compensation. Lawyers for the company claim a dispute over a new alcohol and drug policy led to workers refusing to perform overtime for a number of days in July.

Visy says it stood aside two delegates pending disciplinary proceedings last month, which it alleges led to a mass meeting and about half the workforce taking strike action on July 25. The case will go to mediation before proceeding to a hearing. (Source: SMH)

Not so golden arches

McDonald’s could face its first strike on British soil after workers at two restaurants backed calls for industrial action. Staff at restaurants in Cambridge and Crayford voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action, amid concerns over zero hour contracts and working conditions.

They were demanding a wage of at least £10 per hour and more secure hours, and recognition of the right to form a trade union as employees of the company.

Jeremy Corbyn has shown his support to the workers who balloted to walk out, writing on Facebook: “I met with the Bakers’ Union and some of their members who work at McDonald’s. They explained that although they have long campaigned for better pay and working conditions, the corporation has not addressed their concerns.”

The Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU) said in statement: “Workers have found themselves living on low wages with no guarantee of hours. This has been viewed by some as punishment for joining a union, and has seen employees struggle to meet their rent payments, whilst some have even lost their homes.”

A spokesman for McDonald’s said: “We are proud of our people at McDonald’s, they are at the heart of all we do and we work hard to ensure that our teams are treated fairly.”(Source: Evening Standard)

Compiled by John Quessy