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Money printers vote for industrial action

Wednesday, 16 May 2018
By Print 21 Online Article
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Note Printing Australia at Craigieburn, Victoria.

Workers at Australia’s money printing facility Note Printing Australia – a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) – have voted overwhelmingly in favour of work stoppages after months of unsuccessful negotiations over wage rises.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) says the talks over a new enterprise agreement for workers at the Craigieburn, Victoria facility have “hit a brick wall.”

AMWU print assistant secretary Tony Piccolo says it’s hypocritical of the RBA to deny their own workers fair pay rises while at the same time calling for pay rises to boost the economy.

“RBA boss Phillip Lowe called on business to lift wages to boost household incomes and keep the economy on track, yet he won’t deliver this for his own workforce,” says Piccolo. “Dr Lowe told Parliament in February that he wanted to see 3.5% wage rises across the country. Then why is he refusing this acknowledge the hard work of his own workers with a 3.5% pay rise – rather than the 2% he’s offering, which is barely above inflation?”

The protected action ballot resulted in almost 97 percent of workers voting in favour of industrial action including work stoppages and overtime bans, according to a joint statement by the AMWU and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU).

“We support Dr Lowe’s calls for wage rises,” says ETU Victoria secretary Troy Gray. “But he needs to get his own house in order before he next approaches the pulpit. If even the people who literally print money won’t treat their workers with respect and fairness, then clearly we have to change the rules so workers can get the pay rises we deserve. Even the Reserve Bank won’t give workers a pay rise willingly.”

The unions called on Note Printing Australia and the RBA to sit down with the workers to resolve the dispute as soon as possible and deliver the much-needed pay rise to their workers.

“The members just want a fair agreement that delivers the wage rises the RBA itself is calling for,” says Piccolo. “But the workers have shown through this very strong result in the protected action ballot that they are willing to take action if the company refuses to come to the table.”

NPA has produced Australian banknotes for more than 100 years, evolving from T.S. Harrison’s original print works that produced Australia’s first circulating banknote series in 1913.



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