September 15 was an international day of solidarity with the drivers of Dominos Pizza in Brisbane, called by the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation of Australia. These workers, who deliver pizza, are in a struggle against the arbitrary abuse of the firm, which cut their salaries by 19%. The campaign was supported by the International Workers Association and actions were carried out in many countries around the world.
History of the Conflict
The drivers from Dominos Pizza in Brisbane, Australia, including members of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation (ASF), have been confronting the company which cut their salaries by 19% since April 9. From that time they have been struggling to regain their former pay. This struggle has been not only with Dominos, but also with the right wing hierarchy of the SDA union, which also includes some Dominos employees. In response to the inaction of the SDA, the drivers formed the General Trasport Workers Association (GTWA, connected to the Anarcho-Syndicalist Federation) and actively coordinates the struggle to reinstate the salaries on the national level. Other employees of the firm joined the ASF's branch union seeing that the other union functioning in Dominos is concilliatory and does nothing to improve the situation of the drivers.
The union SDA, is one of the main ones in Australia, with approx. 230,000 members. SDA is run by a right-wing Catholic hierarchy (bureaucracy) headed by Joe de Bruyn, who is not against using the union to propagate clerical ideology.
ASF Brisbane organized a meeting with Tim Van Schyndel, director of labour relations for Dominos in its Australia headquarters, demanding to regulate the question of the drivers salaries. But the meeting did not bring results. Then the ASF-B organized a picket at the headquarters, which was warmly received by local residents. They appealed to the ASF Melbourne for support and they unanimously decided to support their comrades and picket every weekend in front of Dominos, supporting the pickets in Brisbane.
The drivers had the following demands:
1) The basic wage should not be lower than the official minimum wage set by Fair Work Australia and casual and part-time employees should also be guaranteed this minimum
2) This norm should be observed irrespective of the collective agreement
3) Workers should be paid for training and meetings they have to attend (in the restaurant or on the Internet)
4) All tips from clients should go to the employees in their entirety and under no circumstances should Dominos take any part of them
5) All casual and part-time workers should be paid public holiday rates in ratio to those entitlements currently received by full-time, and part-time employees to the extent that by 2014, all casual workers including drivers be paid at the rate of double-time for all hours of work performed on public holidays.
Solidarity Actions on September 15
Аustralia. Pickets and solidarity meetings with the drivers are organized in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.
Аrgentina. The Society of Resistance of FORA in Rosario translated and distributed the appeal of the Australian comrades.
Great Britain. The Solidarity Federation called for people to send solidarity protests through the firms page on Australian Facebook and on September 17 to flood the Australian office with protest faxes and letters of protest, so as to paralyze the company's communications for a while. SF organized protests in front of restaurants in London, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton, Bitterne Southhampton and other places. http://wessexsolidarity.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/solent-solfed-picket-do...
In Manchester, activists from SF from the city and West Yorkshire, together with members of the Anarchist Federation and other libertarian comrades picketed Dominos near the university. The manager called the police but they did not intervene. The action was successful: during the picket only one group of customers went in. (http://www.solfed.org.uk/?q=manchester/dominos-solidarity-in-manchester)
In Bristol, an Australian woman approached the picketers and thanked them for solidarity with Australian workers. She promised to inform about the action on local radio in Melbourne when she returned home. In New Cross members of South London SolFed delivered a protest letter to Dominos Pizza and spoke with the drivers there; the area was posted with leaflets and stickers supported the Brisbane drivers. http://solfed.org.uk/?q=south-london/solidarity-with-australian-dominos-... A picket in Sheffield in front of Dominos was organized by the Industrial Workers of the World. And in Leeds, members of the IWW and the AFed also picketed.
Brazil. The Brazilian Workers Confederation (COB) organized solidarity actions in Sao Paolo and Porto Alegre.
Germany. Members of the Free Workers' Union (FAU) picketed Dominos restaurants in Bonn, Cologne and Langenfeld. They gave leaflets to the workers, passersby and residents which explained the basics of the labour conflict in the firm. On a placard in Cologne was written "19% wage cut in Dominos! Today Brisbane, tomorrow Cologne? (http://allgemeinessyndikatkoeln.blogsport.de/2012/09/15/protest-bei-domi...)
Spain. There were different solidarity actions with the drivers of Dominos organized by members of the CNT-AIT in different cities. In Mataro, activists from Premia and Mataro held a picket at a restaurant on St. Antoni St. (http://www.cntpremia.blogspot.com.es/2012/09/concentracio-dominos-pizza-...)
In Gijon, a banner was hung on one restaurant and different graffiti against the company was made.
In Cornelia de Llobregat there was a picket in front of Dominos when they have the most customers there. They read a communique a few times and gave out about 300 flyers to passersby, customers and workers.
In Salamanca, members of the CNT (from the CNT union in Telepizza) informed workers about the campaign and called on workers in the branch to follow the example of the Australian colleagues, chosing the path of self-organization (http://quienparteyreparte.blogspot.com/2012/09/dominos-pizza-explotacion...). In Elche there was a picket in front of Dominos Pizza which lasted about one hour. The participants gave out leaflets and brochures to passersby, customers and workers and they put up some posters. (http://cntelx.blogspot.com/2012/09/jornada-mundial-de-lucha-contra-domin...)
Canada. А protest against Dominos was held in Vancouver.
Netherlands. The Amsterdam group of the Anarcho-Syndicalist Union made a picket in front of Dominos. The participants explained the situation to pizza delivers and they expressed sympathy with their Australian colleagues. One of them openly expressed solidarity with them. (http://anarcho-syndicalisme.nl/wp/?p=1779)
New Zealand. А protest against Dominos took place in Auckland. It was organized by activists from „Action against Poverty” and Auckland anarchists and supporters. Another action took place in the capital in Wellington.
Norway. Аctivists from the Norwegian Syndicalist Federation distributed leaflets at a Dominos in Oslo.
Poland. Members of the Union of Syndicalists, Poland visited the office of the company in Warsaw on September 14 and delivered a protest. On September 15, then hung banners on the restaurant on al. Jerozolimskie, which drew the attention of many passersby. They gave out leaflets explaining the struggle of the drivers from Dominos Pizza in Australia and about the situation of workers in the food service industry in Poland. The police and manager of the restaurant showed up. He made photographs of the picket to send in to the head office and tried to make an impression by offering the protesters pizza.(http://cia.media.pl/miedzynarodowy_dzien_solidarnosci_z_kierowcami_domin...)
Russia. For the international solidarity day, stickers were put up at the entrance of a Dominos restaurant reading „September 15, international day of solidarity with drivers from Dominos Pizza in Brisbane. Shame on the company that lowered wages by 19%! No to exploitation! International Workers Association". Leaflets with a similar text were left on cars, including the ones for delivering pizza.
Slovakia. Since in that country there are no Dominos, Priama akcia sent letters of protest to the company.
USA. Solidarity actions took place in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Long Beacg, Cleveland, Providence, Tampa, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Minniapolis/ St. Paul and other cities. Most of them were attended by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Workers' Solidarity Alliance and other local activists. Members of the Workers' Solidarity Alliance took active part in the campaign in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Long Beach and Providence (together with the group „Common Struggle”. In Missoula (Montana) there was a picket in front of Dominos organized by the Workers Solidarity Alliance and the Zootown Solidarity Network. In Ann Arbor the action was organized by Lansing Workers' Center.
France. French anarcho-syndicalists held pickets in front of Dominos in Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Paris, Toulouse, Pau and other places. Leaflets were distributed in 4 restaurants in the Paris region (in Nanterre, Besonne, Sartrouville and Enghien-les-Bains) entitled "Why the pizza delivers get only pennies” and they spoke with the workers. They discussed with workers about their conditions and what is happening in Australia. In Toulouse about 200 leaflets were given out in front of a Dominos restaurant and they spoke with the workers. In Caen there was a picket and leaflets were given to residents, customers and passersby. An administrator came out and demanded an explanation and declared that the situation in Australia does not concern him and that he would inform the management of the company in France. In Pau a picket was made and the comrades talked to the workers, asking them to deliver leaflets to the company headquarters.
Activists of the union of retail and services of SUD delivered a protest letter to Dominos on Boulevard Saint-Marcel 40 in the center of Paris.
Translated from the website of KRAS-IWA: www.aitrus.info
(Information in this article based on news sent Sept. 15-18. Updated Sept. 18.)