Note Printing Australia (NPA) employees are now waiting for the next move from their company, after staff went on strike for the first time in its 105 year history on Friday.
The workers decided to take action after NPA refused to budge in a meeting with representatives from the AMWU, on its position in an ongoing dispute over the proposed pay rise in a new enterprise agreement. NPA staff are asking for a 3.5 per cent increase, while the company is refusing to raise its original offer of 2 per cent.
Tony Piccolo says, “The strike was well attended. It was a breakfast picket line and we had the vast majority of employees there. I believe none of the machines were running on the day.
“There has been no response from NPA at this stage. We have put out an email to them and we are hoping to hear back. If the company does not come to the table there will be an escalation of bans.
“There are a range of existing bans the employees are acting on, and we are looking at new ones. Currently there is an overtime ban, no usage of scanning from 11-11:45am. Employees will not be using the forklift for an hour.
“It provides a distraction, it shows all of the employees across the site in different sectors are serious.
[Related: Note Printing staff to stop work]
“At the mass meeting we had on Friday, the company said they would sell off some of the entitlements workers had gotten over time in return for a pay rise. The employees had a resounding response of no, especially since they had every production agreement in their previous agreement. They felt they have fairly earned an increase.
“The presses did not run on Friday and if you are not running, you are not making. There is the planned release of the new $50 bill, I do not know where that is at this stage.
“There was a mixture of disappointment and disbelief from the workers but solid conviction. They responded unanimously against NPA’s proposal. The company should realise its staff are serious and astute.”
Parent body Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has declined to comment.
Piccolo has called out RBA governor Philip Lowe for failing to act with his own address to a parliamentary committee in February, where Lowe the Bank would like to see wages growth across the country above three per cent.
NPA supplies the Australian government and some 18 overseas governments with banknotes.
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