Welcome to the Meatworkers Union

May Day - International Day of working-class struggle.

On Sunday May 7, we will come together to celebrate our victories and build strength for campaigns to come.We'll be celebrating with a big, family-friendly May Day fair with activities for activist kids and activist adults!

Date: Sunday 7th May
Time: 10am - 2pm
Location: Victorian Trades Hall, corner of Lygon St & Victoria St, Carlton VIC 3053

JBS Cobram - Shut Down

OPERATIONS SUSPENDED: Staff at a Cobram abattoir have been told not to return to work for another four months.

Management told employees - some who haven't worked for eight weeks - that a shortage of livestock has forced the temporary closure.

It is time to fight back to keep workers' rights

Malcolm Turnbull has:

Brought back the ABCC to cut wages and conditions for construction workers;
Slashed Sunday penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers;
Casualised work and slashed job security;
Allowed rampant wage theft by bad bosses.

See the report on the national rally 9 March to fight for workers' rights.

Fair Work Commission guts penalty rates for Retail, Fast Food, and Hospitality Workers

Unfortunately that is not where the attack on wages all started

Employer "failed miserably" to protect migrant worker

A labour hire company that ‘failed miserably’ to comply with its WHS duty to a young migrant worker, who fell into a chemical bath the host business used to dissolve animal tissue, has received a record fine.  

In mid-2013, a temporary migrant from Taiwan, was assigned by labour hire firm Big Mars Pty Ltd to work at an abattoir run by Thomas Foods International. Big Mars was under contract to provide temporary workers from Taiwan and China to work at the abattoir. On 6 November 2013 he was seriously injured. See more

If you are an International worker in the meat industry in Australia you need to know your rights and how to be protected. Find out more here.

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.