Union members fight sackings

MELBOURNE—Thirteen workers have protested outside Tieman Industries in the northern suburb of Keon Park since they were sacked on April 30. They are members of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU). Many had been working at the company for more than 10 years.

The company has blamed the sackings on the economic crisis. However, AMWU site delegate Frank Bonicci told the online AMWU News the company was not short on work, but was sending jobs oversees.

Bonicci said the company targeted active unionists. He said Tieman had hinted at sacking him for defending a worker. "As a delegate, it's my responsibility to stand up and defend members of the union. I don't shirk from that but I fear that these redundancies are not just about the recession."

AMWU organiser Tony Mavramatis told Green Left Weekly that the Tieman plant employed visa holders, who were preferred by management because they "have a good attitude to work". The only union member of the 457 visa holders got retrenched, Mavramatis said.