May 10, 2017
I recently visited the workers at Fletcher Insulation in Victoria. They have been on strike for the last 83 days. These 89 dedicated workers have assisted their employer over many, many decades in reaching record productivity and profit levels. Some of them have loyally worked at the Fletcher Insulation company for over 40 years. In response, the company in the latest round of negotiations over pay and conditions has offered a zero per cent wage rise and an increase in weekly working hours, slashed redundancy packages and removed protections on job security to allow for contractors to replace full-time jobs. Successful businesses like Fletcher—and it has been successful—are built on the back of the dedication and hard work of their staff. The way this company has treated these workers is a slap in the face. It really is a disgrace, and it is bad for business as well because they are alienating and pushing back the people who have made the company successful.
But these brave people decided to stand up for their rights. They formed a picket line and they will stand strong until they get a fair go. I know it is not easy. They have been there for 83 days. It is tough on them and it is tough on their families. We are all there to support them. They have endured months without pay in this fight for what is right. It takes guts to do what they are doing and I commend them, stand with them and support them in this fight.