Online meeting in Australia this Saturday

After Smeaton Grange workers reject union sell-out: The way forward for Coles and Woolworths workers

The Socialist Equality Party is holding a public meeting this Saturday, February 6 at 5 p.m. (AEDT) to discuss the critical dispute at the Coles distribution centre in Smeaton Grange, Sydney. Register in advance for the meeting here.

On Tuesday, locked-out Coles workers at the company’s Smeaton Grange distribution centre in southwestern Sydney voted down a sell-out enterprise agreement pushed by management and the United Workers Union (UWU) designed to facilitate the destruction of the factory and all or most of the 350 jobs. Workers have been locked out for over 10 weeks and have received no strike pay from the union, which is attempting to isolate and starve workers into accepting Coles’ deal.

By rejecting the deal, the Smeaton Grange workers have taken a significant stand, not only in defence of their own jobs and conditions, but also those of thousands of other warehouse staff who face union-enforced sackings and closures, and the working class as a whole.

In our statement published last week, “Reject union sell-out at Coles Smeaton Grange warehouse in Sydney! Form rank-and-file committees to defend jobs and stop the closure!” we explained that Smeaton Grange workers face a turning point. Now that workers have voted “no” the struggle at Smeaton Grange must become the starting point for a broader offensive by the working class as a whole. As we said:

“Such a fight—in a sector that is crucial to capitalist economy and the very functioning of society—would be a signal to workers everywhere that now is the time to take a stand against a decades-long race to the bottom, enforced by the unions, which is resulting in widespread unemployment, massive rates of casualisation and a social crisis in working-class areas.”

Read the full statement here.

A political perspective to take forward this fight will be discussed at the public meeting this Saturday. We urge you to attend and to contribute on these critical questions. Register in advance here.