About 100 unionists rallied outside the Fair Work Commission’s Sydney office on February 28 in support of workers at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal (PKCT), who were locked out again on February 15.
The corporate owners of PKCT are locking out its unionised workforce every time a ship arrives and replacing them with temporary workers.
Rally chairperson Arthur Rorris, secretary of the South Coast Labour Council, said: “Lock-outs are the ugliest action employers can take against their workforce. Their strategy is to try to de-unionise the workplace. They will not win. The workers will win.”
ACTU secretary Sally McManus told the rally: “The terminal owners, including multinational mining companies Glencore and BHP, already pay little or no tax on their huge profits. There is an employer conspiracy to sack the unionised workforce and replace them with casual, labour-hire workers.
“But the company has chosen the wrong enemy. The Illawarra region has a proud history of industrial struggle, and the most unionised workforce in the country. We need to unite to change the rules now!”
UnionsNSW secretary Mark Morey said: “Production goes up, wages go down. Are we going to cop this? No! We need to unite as a movement and support our unions and our delegates.”