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Australia's CUB Boycott Has Ended, Brewery Employees to Return to Work

A well fought fight deserves a big cold beer, and the best cold beer is okay to drink again.
By James Whitton
December 07, 2016
By James Whitton
December 07, 2016

After what has felt like an endless, unrefreshed eternity, the boycott of Carlton United Breweries and their products can finally come to an end. It was announced by the Australian Unions on Twitter this morning that the workers at the heart of the bitter feud had "won all their demands" and would be heading back to work for the brewery.

A statement released by the Australian Council of Trade Unions this morning confirms that the 55 workers who were effectively sacked from the Abbotsford brewery would be returning to their jobs under "fair and decent union terms and conditions, which provide job security to the workers".

The whole debacle kicked off in June, when 55 maintenance workers were told that their contracts would be handed over to a new company, and that this new contract would include a pay cut that the workers, and the unions behind them, deemed unfair. This led to worker strikes in both Sydney and Melbourne, a national boycott by many members of the public on Carlton United products, and even attracted the ire of respected political commentators, The Simpsons Against the Liberals.

Although Carlton United Breweries have publicly denied any allegations of wrongdoing, it appears that the brewing giant behind some of Australia's most treasured beers and beer ads has caved to the pressure applied by the workers, the unions and the general public. Lauded by secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Dave Oliver, as a win for the 'little guy', he's clear about leaving the past in the past — although called on the Federal Government to introduce changes to labour hire and subcontracting laws.

"We hope that the unqualified success of this campaign is a clear indication to all employers that sham contracting and abuse of the labour hire system will not be tolerated," he said in a statement. "We are glad to finally be able to end the boycott on CUB products, which are once again proudly union made at Abbottsford."

So, now that the system has actually worked, we can let bygones be bygones and enjoy the first guilt-free Reschs in six months.

Published on December 07, 2016 by James Whitton

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