Welcome to the Meatworkers Union

Fair Work Ombudsman Finally Acknowledges Overwhelming Evidence of Backpacker Exploitation

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James now agrees that the evidence clearly points to dodgy labour hire companies who have “set up a business that is reliant on exploitation of workers”, and that “one of the things that troubles us about these labour hire companies is … we turn up at their registered business address and that’s not their registered business address.”

Your Future - Don't let the SDA back in!
Coles Meat Workers

The Fair Work Commission has ordered the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) to run a ballot of Coles meat workers to see if the majority want the AMIEU to negotiate a new deal with Coles.

If you have not received one in the mail, you should get a ballot paper very soon. We urge all members to vote YES and post it back straight away. If you do not vote, you could lose all opportunity to improve wages and conditions in to the future.

Vote YES now

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.