Australia’s Financial Sector Union wins Breaking Through Award for pandemic organizing
Because of its exceptional efforts to ensure the health and safety of banking and insurance workers during the pandemic, the Financial Sector Union of Australia (FSU) has won UNI Global Union’s Breaking Through Award.
The award is given annually to recognize unions’ outstanding organizing achievements.
In the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak, FSU used online and on-the-ground tactics to promote vaccination and protection of these essential finance workers. The result was the successful negotiation of paid vaccination leave for more than 220,000 finance sector workers.
FSU National Secretary, Julia Angrisano, said:
“Our members have told us that the time it takes to receive the vaccine and the potential requirement to take sick leave to manage any side effects are a barrier to many people receiving the vaccine. So, I am pleased that a number of employers have stepped up and recognized the unique situation that COVID-19 has generated and have granted some form of paid vaccination leave. This entitlement has been won through the hard work of trade unions and their activists.”
The union is also calling on federal and state governments to prioritize vaccine access for frontline finance workers.
“Lack of sick leave is a massive roadblock for vaccine access, and through its campaigning, FSU eliminated that hurdle for hundreds of thousands of workers,” said Christy Hoffman, UNI Global Union’s General Secretary. “The FSU has fought to protect the lives of workers, but also to make their communities safer and their union stronger.”
Other Breaking Through Award winners this year included the RWDSU/BAmazon workers, the Writers Guild of America East and Finansforbundet Denmark.