Welcome to the Meatworkers Union

Butchers Picnic - Footscray - 4 May 2014

Wally Curran was born on Butchers Picnic Day 1932 (the third Wednesday in January) and the Footscray Community Arts Centre marked his passing and the importance of the meatworkers in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

For decades the vision of Arts being an important element of workers' lives has been promoted by the AMIEU, initially by Secretary George Seelaf and Assistant Secretary Wally Curran.

To recognise the importance of the meat industry in the region and to celebrate their establishment (40 years ago), the Footscray Community Arts Centre are holding a Butchers' Picnic.
When & Where
Sunday 4 May 12pm - 4pm
FCAC Riverside and Amphitheatre
45 Moreland Street

A Memorial Service to celebrate the life of Wally Curran was held at the Williamstown Football Club, on 27 March 2014. He was farewelled by hundreds of people from all walks of life.

Vale Wally Curran OAM

1932 - 2014

A Working Class Hero

Wally was a committed activist in the labour movement for over 60 years. In 1957 he was elected as Assistant Secretary of the AMIEU. He played a major role in fighting for meatworkers' health and safety; equal pay for work of equal value and security of employment to mention a few. In 1973 he was elected Secretary..continues

Stop live exports

In February 2014 more than 1500 animals died at sea when being exported. 1,654 Australian sheep and 165 Australian cattle died on route to the Middle East while aboard the MV Ocean Drover.

Penalty rates under attack

When you work unsociable hours and miss out on time with family and friends, you deserve to be compensated - that's why penalty rates exist.

Tony Abbott is introducing new laws that will give employers the ability to strip away penalty rates under the smokescreen of "workplace flexibility." This will mean cuts to take home pay for hundreds of thousands of workers, particularly for low paid, older and women workers.

Australian families have benefited from the penalty rates protections. Stripping penalty rates will have a dramatic impact on our community and will harm our economy.

We need to send Tony Abbott and his government a strong message: don't mess with penalty rates.

Click here to sign this petition and share it with your family

Join the Union

We recognise commitment to the Union

Meatworkers have enjoyed a history and a culture of unionism

This has been built over many years and has continued from generation to generation. Work in meatworks and associated workplaces has always been physically hard, dangerous and skilful. Without the strength of organized labour it would undoubtedly be more dangerous and have stayed poorly paid as well.
Most of the conditions and wages many now enjoy were the result of the unity and industrial action (strikes etc) of workers over many years before them. All the major sheds through the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties were one hundred percent unionised and were therefore able to put up a united front against powerful employers who would otherwise have exploited them. In Victoria particularly, the AMIEU led the way in the establishment of industrial awards, which many now take for granted. Things like equal pay for women, long service leave, Superannuation, redundancy, annual leave, sick leave and public holidays were established and developed by the union, backed up with united industrial pressure.