Australian workers at Pfizer factory strike over wage dispute

Workers at a Pfizer manufacturing plant in Australia went on strike after they disagreed with the global pharmaceutical giant’s wage proposals.

On the night of November 2, dozens of United Workers’ Union (UWU) members who worked at a Pfizer manufacturing plant in southeast Melbourne took to work in a 24-hour labor unrest to protest the company’s wage proposals. I quit

Workers then gathered at the manufacturing plant on the afternoon of Nov. 3 to demand that US companies approve a 17% wage increase over three years.

But according to UWU, which posted the record, Pfizer $25 billion ($39 billion) 2021 profits provided a much lower gross wage increase of 10%. A 3% increase in the first year of the contract, a 4% increase in the second year, and a 3% increase in the final year.

moreover, Union Pfizer also offered cash sweeteners, but said there were conditions attached to the bonuses, such as workers having to pay back the money if they retired, were laid off, or were laid off.

Epoch Times photo
A nurse administers the Pfizer vaccine to a patient at the Covid-19 vaccination clinic in St. Vincent, Sydney, Australia, July 1, 2021. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

The union also said its members want a wage increase close to the current annual inflation rate and would consider Pfizer’s proposal if the company included bonuses in its annual pay increases.

In comments obtained by AAP, a UWU spokeswoman said the union was considering a lawsuit, but the idea had not yet been agreed.

Union says Pfizer’s wage offer is insulting

UWU Secretary of State Tim Kennedy said Pfizer’s wage proposal was an “insulting offer” that essentially amounted to a pay cut, while noting that the company was making huge profits.

“Pfizer employees have not made the decision to downplay the strike. He said in a statement.

“Numbers released last week show inflation in Melbourne is well above 7%. I am starting.”

The secretary also called on the pharmaceutical company’s management to stop playing games and return fairer offers to workers, many of whom have been in the manufacturing plant for 20 years.

Pfizer response to strike

Meanwhile, a Pfizer spokesperson said in an email to The Epoch Times that the company became aware of the strike on Nov. 2 and is actively negotiating an enterprise agreement (EA) with pharmaceutical companies that expires in March 2022. said there is.

“Pfizer will work closely with unions to agree on an EA that applies to all employees, provides fair and reasonable terms for wages and benefits, and addresses the increased cost of living due to rising inflation.” a spokesperson said.

The pharmaceutical giant also noted that it has provided substantial support to manufacturing workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that their wages were generally higher than those in the same industry.

“Over the past three years (2020, 2021, 2022) during the pandemic, Pfizer has provided significant support to our manufacturing colleagues, including essential worker bonuses and It includes medical leave,” the spokesperson said.

“It is important to note that the company’s Melbourne manufacturing workers are paid 18% to 30% higher than the market median.”

Strike at Pfizer’s Melbourne manufacturing plant industrial action Following a similar wage controversy at another company facility in Perth in August, workers demanded an 18% pay increase.

Alfred Bui


Alfred Bui is an Australian reporter based in Melbourne, focusing on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds his two master’s degrees in business and business law. Please contact [email protected]