The staff of the Consulate in Sydney./ Photo: Change.org
Eduardo González. 17/07/2017
The eight employees of the Consulate General in Sydney are still on an indefinite strike that they started on 23 June against the freeze of their wages. Furthermore, they have warned that, since 1 July, their salaries have been below the legal minimum in Australia.
In a statement issued through the online application platform Change.org, the staff in Sydney (all them of Australian nationality) have informed that the Australian court for working relations increased, on 1 July, the country’s minimum wage by 3.3%.
“This means that, as of 1 July, the salaries of the staff that are currently on an indefinite strike are below the agreement for office and administration workers and are, therefore, illegal”, the text continues. “To date”, it points out, “Spain’s Ambassador to Canberra, Manuel Cacho Quesada, has not responded to the claims of the staff and has not announced the adjustment of the salaries to the legal minimum”.
According what the workers on strike declared on their Facebook account, in Sydney, the number of those registered in the Consular Registry since 2009 has doubled, “but the number of workers of Spain’s General Consulate in Sydney and their salaries have not changed since then”.
They affirm that their salaries are already below the legal minimum in Australia
The Consulate of Sydney has joined the mobilizations initiated by the staff abroad in favour of the review of their wages, frozen since 2009. 40% of the 7,000 workers depend on the Foreign Ministry and the rest on other Ministries, such as those of Agriculture, Employment or Education.
On the other hand, the trade unions CCOO and CSIF presented a notice for the indefinite strike of the staff of the Foreign Service in Nicaragua, according to information provided by union sources and confirmed by sources of the Foreign Ministry to The Diplomat. The strikes will start on 5 September and they will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
On 21 June, the union headquarters threatened the Government to call, after summer, generalized strikes in all the Embassies and the rest of the Foreign Service after the conclusion of the meeting held the day before by the Technical Committee of the Staff Abroad (PLEX in its Spanish acronym), without any wage offer by the General Administration of the State.
Meanwhile, the workers of the Embassy in Argentina decided, on 29 June, during an assembly, to resume the strike, which had been interrupted temporarily on 14 June waiting for the results of the meeting of the Technical Committee. So far, no dates have been set for the strike’s resumption.