The Guardian 3 August, 2005

Boeing seeks strike breakers

Boeing has taken out quarter page ads in national newspapers in an attempt to recruit strike-breakers for its RAAF Williamtown facility as Queensland-based employees refuse to cross the 10-week-old picket line. Reports from Amberley suggest many workers there were not told, or didn’t realise, they were being flown into the centre of a dispute over Boeing’s refusal to give the Williamtown workers a collective agreement.

Less than half of the original 23 strike breakers flown in by Boeing returned for a second week after being escorted to and from work by police during their first week.

Boeing’s ads for Aircraft Tradespersons — Avionics and Structures — make no mention of individual contracts, and mislead about working conditions, according to John Boyd from the Australian Workers Union (AWU).

"What they don’t mention is the individual contracts, the 43 hours a week before overtime, or even that overtime is only ever paid at time and a half", he said.

"We’d urge anyone interested in those jobs to call in at the picket line or visit our website at and find out the truth."

Boeing has already lost the dispute, according to AWU National Secretary Bill Shorten, but they are too arrogant to admit it.

Shorten warned any potential strike breakers that they should remember what happened to the strike breakers in the waterfront dispute, who were abandoned by employers after the victorious MUA members returned to their jobs.

The locked out Williamtown workers are calling for Australians to help them through their dispute by being a part of an Adopt-A-Family scheme being run out of the union’s Newcastle office.

Members of the public can sponsor a family of a locked out worker to help them make ends meet during the dispute. Details can be obtained by phoning the AWU Newcastle office on 02 4967 1155

Back to index page