Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union

 

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Workshop members stand up to family violence

Union members at a major machinery assembly depot have voted  up their state’s first family violence leave clause in an automotive workshop.

The members  at Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics in Victoria pushed for the anti-family violence clause to ensure workplace protection was available for everyone on site, prompting WWL to extend the policy to the office staff as well.

It has now gone to WWL workplaces Australia-wide - a great win for union members. 

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Protecting all workmates: AMWU members Deniz Yavul (left) and Ivan Deak (right) with fellow WWL employees Robyn Lawson-Roberts and Essener Sagdic.

The new agreement coincides with last weekend’s ALP National Conference, which backed the trade union movement’s push for paid family violence leave to be available for all workers.

AMWU delegate Andrew Otte said members felt they needed to take responsibility to ensure there was support for victims of family violence.

“It’s not just for us, the focus is really on the impact of partner and family violence,” Mr Otte said.

“We’ve heard what Rosie Batty has had to say too, people trying to deal with this need proper protection and care at work to help them.”

The new agreement at WWL allows an employee dealing with a domestic violence situation to access 12 days carers-personal leave or annual leave, plus unpaid leave if required.

WWL will take action to protect that employee from unwanted visitors to the worksite or any attempted phone or other contact while at work.  A security guard will escort an employee to their car, if requested.

“This is the first agreement I’ve done among auto assembly workers which includes a family violence provision – it’s a breakthrough,” said AMWU organiser Clinton Bannam.

WWL Human Resources head Maree Marston said the agreement also guarantees unlimited access to a confidential assistance program.

“It was part of the union’s log of claims, but something we felt we must include across the company. It’s making sure people are safe when they are here,” she said.

The new union agreement  also delivers improved replacement of work clothes, more breaks in summer heat and a pay rise of 2.6 per cent. WWL handles final assembly and turnout of trucks and agricultural equipment.

*Any member with a personal problem can contact AMWU Care, a 24/7 confidential and independent counselling advice service, on  1800 206 316.

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