Festival Records picketed
By Shane Bentley & Paul Howes
SYDNEY — After Festival Records issued redundancy notices to 50 workers at its Pyrmont plant on May 12, members of the National Union of Workers set up a picket line to demand a better redundancy package.
The News Ltd. subsidiary offered employees only two weeks' notice and two weeks pay for each year worked up to 10 years. The NUW was negotiating a better redundancy clause when management, after delaying the talks, issued the redundancies.
NUW members have blocked nearly all products from entering or leaving the plant. While members of the gramophone and record industry section of the AWU at Festival have not offered the picketers support, the picket line has been respected by Transport Workers Union members and endorsed by the NSW Labour Council.
Workers suspect that the company plans to relocate to the new Fox complex at the old Sydney showground site and is attempting to get rid of all union members before the move.
After unionists at Ansett imposed work bans in solidarity, the company agreed to meet the strikers on June 13. The strikers need support and welcome all visitors to their picket line at Miller Street in Pyrmont.