Welcome to the Meatworkers Union

Review of WorkSafe's enforcement and compliance

Currently a review is being conducted into how WorkSafe goes about its enforcement and compliance activity. Health and Safety Reps and Delegates know how WorkSafe works on the ground. Thank you to the members who responded to the survey monkey and letting us know your experience with WorkSafe. Check out what other members said and what the union said on your behalf.

Workers' Victory - Coles’ Unfair Agreement Pronounced Dead

The broken, unfair deal cooked up between the corporate-loving SDA and Coles has officially been killed, with Coles refusing the Fair Work Commission’s request to alter it so that no worker would be worse off.

This massive win for workers will see tens of thousands of young Coles employees, predominantly those who work the high penalty-rate shifts that nobody else wants such as nights and weekends, awarded the large amounts in back pay that they would have earned in the first place if Coles and the SDA hadn’t worked together to take them away.

This victory is an unequivocal vindication of the AMIEU strike actions in the first half of 2015.

We told you that we would be contacting Coles to restart negotiations for a New Meat Agreement and keep you posted as more news becomes available. Well Coles says "No decision has been made in respect of future bargaining"

Unfortunately, Coles has successfully stopped us from applying for a Protected Action Ballot in the FWC, preventing our members from exercising their rights as a worker.

If a company refuses to meet, being able to take lawful industrial action is a part of the bargaining that Coles is trying to ignore.

The AMIEU is working on appealing the decision. If we are successful, members will receive a form asking them whether they would support taking Protected Action. Members need to answer YES to all of the questions on this form.

Q Fever outbreak

If you work close to Holcourt Road in Laverton North and have developed flu symptoms - high fever, headaches and sore joints you should be tested for the bacterium, Coxiella Burnetti. If you are found positive you are entitled to claim WorkCover to cover lost time and medical and like expenses. Remember WorkCover is a 'no fault' system so if you were exposed at work you can claim.

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.