Locked out ACI workers in good spirits

January 26, 2000

By Chris Slee

MELBOURNE — Workers are in their fifth week of picketing the ACI glass mould manufacturing plant at Lexton Road, Box Hill, after being locked out by the company on December 20. The company is attempting to force the workers to accept a new enterprise agreement that would impose unrestricted management prerogative, make workers do extra duties with no extra pay and introduce de facto casualisation.

The company has refused to pay workers their recreation leave and holiday pay entitlements. Centrelink has refused to pay unemployment benefits because the workers are involved in an industrial dispute — even though it was the company that took the "industrial action" of locking the workers out.

The workers are, however, receiving donations from other workers. A collection at the ACI Spotswood plant raised $3000. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union shop steward Robert Bisinella told Green Left Weekly that the workers are united and in good spirits, and prepared to continue the picket for as long as necessary.

Supporters are welcome to visit the picket. Donations can be sent to the AMWU office at 440 Elizabeth St, Melbourne 3000 (make cheques payable to: AMWU/ACI picket).

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