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MELBOURNE — Workers owed $2.5 million in wages, long service leave, and superannuation by ABM Plastics, now in receivership, have been hit with injunctions to stop them from picketing the company.

The injunctions were issued on February 17 against the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the National Union of Workers and every individual worker previously employed at ABM Plastics.

The workers first found out that their company had gone into receivership when an administrator working for GE Finance came walking through the factory last November.

The administrator wanted the workers to continue working for an extra three weeks to complete some contracts. But all the workers would get in return for the extra work was 20 cents in every dollar that they are owed by the company.

The workers rejected this and began picketing the plant on January 21. Around 110 workers have been involved in the dispute.

Supporters of the ABM Plastics workers have issued a call for as many people as possible to join them at the community picket line — at ABM Plastics, 52-62 Tarnard Drive, Braeside.

Sue Bolton

MELBOURNE — Hundreds of people protested on February 13 against the proposed dredging and deepening of the heads of Port Phillip Bay. The Blue Wedges coalition, comprising some 50 community groups, organised a rally under the Westgate bridge and a car cavalcade across the bridge to Williamstown.

The state government and Port of Melbourne Corporation hope to deepen the shipping lanes into the bay to allow the largest international cargo ships to enter the port.

The Blue Wedges coalition is publicising the possibly devastating environmental effects on the bay as 40 million or more tonnes of sediment and debris — some containing toxic pollutants — are dumped around the bay during the dredging operation.

For more information about the Blue Wedges campaign, visit <http://www.bluewedges.org>.

Ben Courtice

From Green Left Weekly, February 23, 2005.
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