On the Picket Line

General Mills food workers in Australia strike, win pay raise

By Linda Harris
July 12, 2021

SYDNEY — “We won!” read placards outside international food monopoly General Mills factory in Rooty Hill, Western Sydney, June 24 after 89 workers, members of the United Workers Union, won their strike. They had maintained a 24-hour picket for three weeks.

They fought for a wage raise and against company demands to increase weekend work. The bosses tried to keep the plant, which produces pasta, tacos and tortillas, running with casual workers, but could only keep up one line.

Strikers told the Militant June 19 that the company was losing money because of the strike and they were confident that they would win their demands. “The company made big profits, but they don’t want to give us anything,” one said.

On June 24 General Mills gave in. Workers won a wage raise of almost 9% over three years, retroactive to February when their old agreement expired, as well as a $1,500 bonus. The company’s initial pay offer had been 1.5% a year.

The agreement includes maintaining conditions as they’d been and no victimization of workers who participated in the strike, including casual workers who joined the picket line.