Critical stage in ACI dispute

Wednesday, August 14, 1996

18 = Critical stage in ACI dispute

By Dave Mizon

MELBOURNE — A lot has occurred at the BTR/ACI Spotswood picket line, where 137 maintenance workers are fighting 59 forced redundancies. The dispute is now at a critical stage, with the company taking a more aggressive stance.

On August 7, a fire destroyed jars at an ACI warehouse. The company accused picketing workers, and on August 8 the picketers locked management in the factory.

The next day, Finemore transport company, whose Transport Workers Union drivers have been respecting the picket, threatened to use secondary boycott provisions against the unions involved. The union leadership advised workers to protest against, but not stop, the movement of 20 loads of jars and bottles.

Support for the picketing workers is nevertheless being maintained. On August 4, a fundraiser at the ACI site, attended by 300 people, raised $2000. Workers at other BTR/Nylex sites have continued their campaign of rolling bans in support of ACI workers. For the struggle to win, however, determined action is needed against the BTR/Nylex group by a united union movement.