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To: Penguin Random House Australia HR

Defend Beth

Beth, a Penguin Random House union delegate, has received a first and final warning for posting a tweet in solidarity with the staff at bookshops such as Readings, who risked losing their penalty rates from 1st July 2019.

Beth's tweet is a positive expression of solidarity – and one comprising lawful industrial activity under the Fair Work Act. Any infringement upon Beth's rights to undertake industrial activity represents a threat to all union members and in our view amounts to adverse action.

We call on Penguin Random House management to immediately withdraw this harsh and unreasonable warning.

Why is this important?

Penguin Random House is the first book publisher in Australia to unionise. Staff are currently in negotiations with management for a collective agreement, the first union-led EBA for the book industry.

Beth, along with other MEAA members at Penguin Random House, has been tireless in her efforts: signing up colleagues, advocating via workshops and op-ed articles*, and bargaining with a managerial team unaccustomed to union structures or industrial law.

MEAA wants to make sure our publishing delegates know not only that they are protected by their union and industrial legislation, but that they have the support of Australian workers as they blaze a trail in this industry.

MEAA will be challenging Beth's first and final warning in the Fair Work Commission. In the meantime, we want to send a message to Penguin Random House management and show that workers in the book industry and beyond support Beth's rights as a union delegate and worker.

*www.theguardian.com/books/2019/mar/29/the-book-industry-isnt-dead-thats-just-an-excuse-to-keep-salaries-low

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Reasons for signing

  • My wife and I have bought 100s of Penguin books over the years. I'm totally disgusted by PRH's behaviour.
  • Touch one, touch all. This is disgraceful overreach, and blatant intimidation.
  • This is the lowest act, and by PENGUIN of all employers! Bully behaviour. Craven. And totally illegal.

Updates

2019-07-11 08:07:13 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2019-07-10 18:22:58 +1000

500 signatures reached

2019-07-10 15:26:22 +1000

100 signatures reached

2019-07-10 15:05:47 +1000

50 signatures reached

2019-07-10 14:46:24 +1000

25 signatures reached

2019-07-10 14:24:46 +1000

10 signatures reached