Bridgestone Australia Workers Begin Industrial Action
Bridgestone workers in Australia have followed their threats with action, and employees at the company’s Salisbury plant near Adelaide, in South Australia, have begun industrial action over a pay dispute. According to Bridgestone, production and maintenance staff at the plant commenced a series of four-hour stoppages at 2am on March 8.
The 500 workers at the Salisbury plant seek a 4 per cent pay rise each year for the life of their new collective agreement. The company has offered in increase of up to 6 per cent in total over the next four years.
A Bridgestone spokesman has provided reassurances that the industrial action would not disrupt supplies, adding that the company had been genuinely trying to reach an agreement on the pay dispute for the last twelve months.
Jim Watson, speaking on behalf of the employees’ representative union, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, stated that in recent years Bridgestone workers had struggled to obtain wage rises that kept pace with inflation. “For the past six years they’ve received an annual rise of just 3 per cent. Now the company wants to offer them even less,” he said.
According to Mr Watson, Bridgestone workers felt they had no remaining option but to initiate industrial action.