ACI workers picket CUB
MELBOURNE — Locked out workers from the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant in Box Hill picketed the Carlton and United Breweries plant in Abbotsford on February 17. The picket, which involved 50 people and lasted four hours, turned away a number of trucks.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union delegate Robert Bisinella told Green Left Weekly that if the picket had continued for a couple more hours, production at the brewery would have been affected. Union representatives spoke to senior managers from CUB and trucking company Linfox. Both companies agreed to make protests to ACI about its treatment of the locked out workers.
Protest opposes logging
CANBERRA — Thirty people attended a speak-out here on February 18, organised by Resistance to oppose the logging of old-growth forests. The NSW government's regional forest agreement for the south-east forests allows 32,000 to 60,000 cubic metres of old-growth to be logged.
Resistance's Marcus Pabian demanded that the government prevent further old-growth logging and instead expand plantations to protect the jobs of forestry workers.
Rail workers may reject pay deal
BRISBANE — Rail workers around Queensland are holding meetings to discuss the deal arranged with Queensland Rail which supposedly settled their pay dispute after their 48-hour snap strike on February 9-10.
Meetings at Townsville, Rockhampton and other regional centres overwhelmingly rejected the deal, which promised no increase in the department's original offer of a 6.5% wage rise over two years but added a sweetener by permitting a reopening of wage negotiations if the GST led to an inflation blow out after July 1 this year. More meetings are planned for the week beginning February 21. Unions have stated that if the members reject the deal, the wage issue will have to go back to the negotiating table.
Protest at CDEP inequities
CANBERRA — Two hundred Aboriginal protesters and their supporters from across NSW rallied outside Parliament House on February 14 to protest against inequities in the funding for Aboriginal and general work for the dole programs.
ATSIC chairperson Geoff Clarke called on the federal government to increase administration funding to the Community Development Employment Projects by $1000 per person, so that it is equal to that received by general work for the dole schemes.
A spokesperson for Aboriginal affairs minister John Herron reiterated the government's strong support for CDEP work for the dole schemes.