ACI gets injunction
MELBOURNE — Manufacturing company ACI has obtained a court injunction to prevent locked-out workers from its Box Hill plant from picketing its customers. The workers had picketed Carlton and United Breweries and Kraft Foods, both of which use glass products made by ACI.
The workers were locked out in December in an enterprise bargaining dispute. The company wanted to impose unrestricted management prerogative, make the workers do extra duties with no extra pay and introduce de facto casualisation.
Chechnya group formed
MELBOURNE — Incensed by the images and reports of genocide committed by Russian troops in Chechnya, a group has been formed here called the Caucus Chechen Support Group.
Ahsen Ilhan, the group's project organiser, has called on the prime minister to speak out against Russia's brutality and says there will be actions in solidarity with the people of Chechnya.
"We begin the 21st century watching silently as a brutish Russia crushes the life out of a tiny but heroic people who refuse to bend their knees to Moscow's tyranny.
Will you watch while a nation is being wiped out?", Ilhan asks. To contact the Caucus Chechen Support Group, phone Ilhan on (03) 9308 7181 or e-mail <Chechen_supp@hotmail.com>.
Students oppose arts restructure
BRISBANE — Students at the University of Queensland will mount a campaign against a university restructure of the faculty of arts.
The university claims the restructure is forced on it by federal government funding cuts and by the deficit budgets of several departments within the faculty. The university hopes to merge the 11 departments into four schools and thus "create academic units which are academically and financially viable".
A general meeting last week attended by 70 students demanded a reversal of the recent $400,000 funding cuts and no cuts to staffing or course content. It called on the UQ Student Union to support the campaign.
The next campaign organising meeting will be on April 10 at 2pm at the Clubs and Societies office. A rally is scheduled for April 12, noon, at the clock tower. For further information, phone (07) 3377 2200.
Labor closes youth refuge
MELBOURNE — The only remaining women's youth refuge in Victoria is to be closed as a result of a $1.3 million cut in funding for youth services in the northern suburbs of Melbourne by the state Labor government.
Speaking on community radio 3CR, Napier House's team leader, Nicole Jolly, dismissed government claims that the centre was running under capacity, saying it has "run within range of capacity for the past 10 years".
With five beds and one emergency bed, and an annual budget previously of $545,000, Napier House has provided accommodation, food, travel cards, and assistance with employment, education and training for young women who find gender-mixed and older women's refuges unsuitable.
Coburg workers left stranded
MELBOURNE — Coburg Dyeworks went from administration into liquidation on March 23 after sacking its 60 workers on March 9. The workers now face the uncertainly of the federal National Employee Entitlements Support Scheme.
The scheme will not cover workers for what they are owed, including superannuation, but will supposedly cover four weeks' unpaid wages, four weeks' annual leave accrued in the past year, five weeks' pay in lieu of notice, four weeks' redundancy pay, and 12 weeks' long-service leave. The Textile, Clothing and Footwear Union is demanding that full entitlements be paid and wants a real entitlement scheme, with employers contributing.