The Guardian 26 September, 2007

CEO's 12.5% on $3 m;
Foster’s workers denied rights

Workers at Fosters’ Brisbane brewery want to know why Trevor O’Hoy, the company’s Chief Executive, is so handsomely rewarded — while brewery workers are denied their rights to a union agreement.

"Trevor O’Hoy is being given a 12.5 percent cash salary increase on top of his staggering $3 million annual salary", Ron Monaghan from the LHMU Brewery Union in Queensland said.

"All our members want is their right to a union agreement so they can campaign for decent wages and conditions.

"Under the leadership of Trevor O’Hoy the right to a union collective agreement, which would deliver benefits and long-term respect and decency to the 285 people employed at the Fosters Yatala brewery, has been consistently denied.

He said that the company had controlled ballots where the workforce has shown that they want to protect their rights at work by overwhelmingly rejecting the company’s plans which would see them earning up to 35 percent less pay than workers at other Fosters’ facilities.

"But Foster’s only seems interested in the rights of Trevor O’Hoy and his senior executives to enormous pay packets — not the rights of the people who have delivered the 17 percent increase in underlying net profits which was reported in the media this week.

"Union workers resent the fact that the spin doctors at Fosters promoted media headlines after the Fosters announcement about the chief executives right to a decent pay, but ignored the ballot of the Brisbane workforce demanding equal treatment when it came to decent pay.

"Foster’s is a global company, and yet it refuses to respect the fundamental human right, backed up in international law, that workers have the right to union collective agreements."

The dispute at the Fosters Yatala brewery has now stretched for eight months with the company refusing to sit down with the workers and their unions to come to a decent resolution. Fosters has become the target of an international e-mail campaign, co-ordinated by the global trade union representing brewery workers, the IUF, which has delivered thousands of protests, from beer drinkers across the globe upset with how working people in Brisbane are treated by the beer company.

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