The Branch is looking at producing its own journal at the office with a new photocopying machine that we are renting that can produce journals.

We, at the Branch want to ensure that you receive a journal that hopefully  is full of interesting information, information that may be helpful to you in a vibrant way.

We have been looking at other branches format of their journals and we are confident that we can give you a similar if not better journal.

So, in order to help us we need your stories, I know from talking to a lot of you over the years, that you have your own stories to tell whether as experiences at work or things that you do outside of the workplace, including additions to your family, wedding photos or interesting photos of any importance to the meat industry including any historical material that you may have.

We would be happy if you can send us this information either by email or even mail and if you send us any photos or materials that you want back we can make copies and return them to you.

The Branch has embarked on an archiving project, by employing a very experienced Carolyn Pryor who has been working in our branch an average of two days a week going through all our files and archiving and cataloguing accordingly, this has resulted in us finding historical material that we intend to share with you through our journals.

Our union has a very proud history, full of interesting stories relating to industrial disputes, cases regarding bargaining, photos of our industry and meat workers picnic days, attendance at rallies and so on, so hopefully going forward we will share this great history that is your union with you.

We have made some changes to our office in Parramatta and we have converted one of our rooms into a bigger board room that we intend to use for all our meetings including our Committee of Managements meetings, this is a tradition going back to when we occupied offices in the Trades Hall in Sydney, and I personally am looking forward to once again going back to this tradition.

On the Industrial front, as you will see from the organisers report everyone has been kept extremely busy with recruitment, disputes, bargaining and generally visiting sites.

I am very proud of the team that we have in the office with all organisers and staff working together and assisting each other in ensuring that we deliver the best servicing model to you our members, we are constantly reviewing what we do and making changes where necessary as we mould our servicing model to be the most efficient and cost effective way to service our members.

In the office, we have mapped all our sites and are constantly looking at the map to ensure that the sites are visited regularly, so if you have not seen our organisers at your site please do not hesitate to contact the union office and advise us so that we can ensure that we don’t miss any of our sites.

We are also looking at new sites to organise so that we can increase our membership base, so if you know of any sites that we may not know about, ring the office and let us know.

With all of us working together, we can make sure that we have the best branch possible providing the best service possible.

Diana Sully and I together with our very competent delegates and JCC team at Bega Cheese finalised their agreement for the next three years, I want to thank all our team specially Dave Knapp and Gary Childs our delegates on site who did a magnificent job in ensuring that not only we delivered an agreement that had overwhelming support from the site but also ensured that the workers at Bega Cheese did not lose any of their conditions.

As the Federal President, together with the Federal Secretary, I attended the International Union of Foods (IUF) Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Manila. I have included a number of photos from the conference.

During the conference, we heard from organisers in the Asia Pacific who reminded us of the fundamental struggles that workers face from the most basic of needs such as making a claim for drinking water that is not polluted to lost wages, protective protection from insecticides that are predominately banned in our part of the world and the inhumane treatment of workers.

When one listens to these horrific stories you realise how little we have progressed as a global workforce and how fragile our situation here in Australia can be when you are constantly under attack from conservative governments who want to erode workers’ rights in this country.

I do not want any worker anywhere to be treated as slaves or even close to slavery with wages that do not even afford the workers and their families the most basic of needs such as shelter, fresh water and food, let alone education for their children, we have to fight on our front and protect our conditions and fight to also increase our conditions whilst at the same time not lose sight of what is happening to our neighbours, after all we are all workers no matter where we work.

On a final note I wish you and your family the best for the festive season, in whatever way you may celebrate, please be safe and enjoy.

Please note that during the Christmas break the office will close at 12:00pm on the 23rd of December and reopen at 7am on 9th January 2017.

Please contact your organiser during this time, if you require any assistance.