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Smoko Alarm


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Apparently this was /is the reward from a contest that Milwaukee ran in Australia.  It looks like a pretty awesome piece of swag.


[In Aussie slang, and please anyone from down under do correct my admittedly limited knowledge of the culture, a smoko is a coffee / tea break.]





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  • 2 weeks later...

The (mainly commercial) construction industry has the most powerful union here in Australia. On large commercial sites it's a 38 hour week, with a push for it to be 36 hours,  or 4 days if they get their own way. You get 1 paid RDO every two weeks, there are picnic days, lock down weekends (Melbourne cup, AFL grand final, Easter, Xmas holidays) where you get almost a full paid week off for each event. Saturday's are double time and on union sites you get allowances for dust, noise, hazmat work etc. 15 minutes for morning tea and 30 minutes for lunch. It's usually about 30 min for smoko and 1 hour for lunch if your boss is slack or if they aren't around you see some guys bludging off. 


A site HSR who tops up the tea, coffee, milo, cleans amenities will take home an easy $100-120k per year on an EBA agreement. Yet a nurse or police officer are luck to earn 60-80k per year working shift hours. It's all kind of backwards here.


Wages increase 5% minimum almost yearly for certain trades. Basically the cost if building is ridiculously expensive and for us smaller guys, you can't afford to be paying your employees all of these benefits with no return or productivity. 


As for wages, some brickies are charging up to $90/hr or over $1.20/brick, plumbers average $80/hr, electricians are similar, some A grade over $100/hr. The ones who don't do well are plasterers where non english speaking chinese are treated like slaves by a boss who makes all the money by paying a gang of 10 as little as $80 each/day. Usually happens on domestic jobs where unions tend not to stick their noses in. Truck drivers and owner operators are also under paid for their outlay. I could go on but that's enough ranting for one evening 😄

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