Back in April, Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers in Australia had their wages slashed by 19% — overnight. The driver’s union — the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employee’s Union (SDA), a yellow union which with 230,000 members is also Australia’s largest and functions as a sinecure for a small clique of right-wing Labor Party officials — agreed in May to accept this decision. The wages cut was then formally accepted at an industrial hearing at FWA in July, and further discussions between Domino’s and the union deferred until some point in the future. In effect, by not applying to have an earlier, outdated agreement rescinded, the SDA chose to actively support measures which prevented drivers from obtaining a national minimum award of $19 per hour.
While all this was going on and undeterred by the SDA, a group of Domino’s workers — members of the Brisbane branch of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation — decided to organise themselves to take action, eventually forming the ‘General Transport Workers’ Association’. After several months of rallies (May/June/July) at a number of Domino’s Pizza restaurants in Australia, last month the GTWA appealed for support from its international allies. On September 15, 2012, a Global Day of Action in solidarity with the GTWA and Domino’s drivers took place.
Below are very brief accounts of some of the events and actions organised in support; a fuller account is published on the International Workers Association / Asociación Internacional de los Trabajadores (IWA-AIT) blog.
Аustralia: Pickets and solidarity meetings in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.
Brazil: The Brazilian Workers Confederation (COB) organized solidarity actions in Porto Alegre and São Paulo.
England: The Solidarity Federation organised protests in front of restaurants in Brighton, Bristol, Leeds, London, Manchester and elsewhere; the IWW held a picket in Sheffield.
Germany: Members of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) picketed Domino’s restaurants in Bonn, Cologne and Langenfeld.
Spain. Solidarity actions organised by members of the CNT took place in Barcelona, Gijon, Salamanca and elsewhere.
Other actions and events took place in Auckland and Wellington (Aotearoa/New Zealand); Vancouver (Canada); Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris and Toulouse (France); Amsterdam (Netherlands); Oslo (Norway); Warsaw (Poland); Moscow (Russia); Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Berkeley, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Minneapolis/St.Pauli, Providence, San Francisco and Tampa (United States).
Below is the text of a leaflet by a Domino’s driver in Brisbane, distributed at events in Australia:
To all fellow Domino’s drivers, those I know already & those across Brisbane I don’t – it’s great to hear you standing up for yourselves, making yourselves heard.
I’ve seen you working & I know when April came along you didn’t slacken off by 19%. You don’t deserve this. Your labour isn’t cheap but the bosses move was. Do you remember in training those flashy videos & an excited rep telling you how your wages were industry leading? Wages they were paying while making massive profits.
I bet they didn’t tell you even then they were fighting to cut it. No flashy video for your loss huh, just a photocopied memo left out for you on short notice. And for the worst of reasons – they thought you’d lie down & just take it.
Because you’re teenagers, because you’re foreign students, because for those reasons or others just as good you knew you’d need to keep the job. Because you weren’t organized and others were speaking in your place, hanging you out to dry.
I see their game, sucking all the dough to the top & letting the rest of us fight for the crumbs. Stuff that. We’re rough enough to deal with all kinds of attitude good & bad from customers, we’re rough enough to give it back to the boss.
I say if anything we deserve a damn raise. How many years have gone by without one? Still think you could get fuel for 70c/L like when we last had one? Think everything else you pay for hasn’t gone up in that time?
Together we’re undefeatable, together we’ll find the bosses pushovers. Next time you go out on a run have a chat with another driver in the carpark, see if they’ll tell you it ain’t so.