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News Media Releases Perth workers locked out of manufacturing company
Perth workers locked out of manufacturing company
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 00:00

 More than 30 workers will be locked out of their Canningvale workplace by their employer tomorrow (Thursday, September 8) as part of a nationwide bid by the company to cut their real wages.

Corinthian Doors in Canningvale is threatening to lock its workers out for 72 hours for taking action against a pay deal that would see them worse off.

CFMEU Forestry and Furnishing Products WA organiser Paul Carter says workers are suffering at the hands of their employer.

"All our members want is fair and reasonable pay and conditions. Many of the workers have large families to support, and a loss of a week‟s pay will be hard for them to swallow."

On average, a worker at Corinthian Doors earns $40,000 a year. They have already had their overtime cut and are facing losing their working conditions and benefits, despite working for a profitable business.

Corinthian Doors, owned by US manufacturer Jeld-Wen, has offered its workers 2.5% a year for three years as long as they cut a highly-popular benefits scheme.

"Perth workers are already struggling as the cost of living skyrockets, and the gap between rich and poor grows faster than anywhere else in the country," said Simone McGurk from UnionsWA.

"The cost of living has increased in the past 12 months by 3 per cent, mainly because of high food prices.

"It‟s appalling that any profitable international company would try to bully its workers into taking a pay rise that, in real terms, is a pay cut," she said.

The CFMEU and the company started negotiations on pay and conditions earlier this year. The workers took a ballot and have rejected the 2.5 per cent offer.

"This highly profitable company can afford to sponsor racing cars and the St Kilda football club, but they want to force their workforce to accept what amounts to a real wage cut," Mr Carter said.

"It‟s appalling that this is happening with Christmas just around the corner. Some of the workers have five children to support."

The CFMEU says protracted negotiations with the company had secured nothing more than a threat to move the manufacturing work offshore if the workforce didn‟t accept the below inflation offer. Corinthian Doors command almost 90 per cent of the Perth market, and is a profitable business. It is half-owned by US-based company, Jeld-Wen.

"This manufacturer has plenty of work on, is profitable, but simply does not want to share."

During the last EBA round in 2008 the company asked members to moderate their claim, as at the time the GFC was looming. It gave assurances that the workforce would be „looked after next time.

The company has factories in St Mary’s in Sydney, Dandenong, Campbellfield and Scoresby in Victoria, Regency Park in South Australia.

In a parallel negotiation, Stegbar, another Jeld-Wen company, has locked out CFMEU members at its South Australian door and window manufacturing site.


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