Wool combers overwhelmed by support


GEELONG — Workers at Geelong Wool Combing (GWC) are maintaining their 24-hour picket outside the gates of their employer. The 110 workers have been overwhelmed by the level of support they have received from the community.

Adrian Van Doren, workplace delegate for the Textile Clothing and Footwear Union (TCFUA), told Green Left Weekly that the workers were locked out on April 28. "We've been here all this time and if it hadn't been for the support from our union and all the other great unions, who knows what would have happened?"

The TCFUA has organised protests at the head office of GWC's parent company Elders in Melbourne. On the June 20, the workers' case will be heard in the federal court.

On May 23, a solidarity breakfast at the picket was attended by more than 100 supporter. Michelle O'Neil, state secretary of the TCFUA, thanked the metalworkers' union, the Electrical Trades Union and the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union for their solidarity. The workers on the Blue Circle site were especially thanked for the levies they have collected.

The Socialist Alliance and workers from the picket have been leafleting and collecting money for the picketers at markets and shopping centres around Geelong. So far, $1000 has been raised and thousands of leaflets handed out.

There will be a fundraiser at Geelong Trades Hall on June 13, 4pm. Phone TCFUA organiser Jenny Kruschel on 0419 337 137 for tickets or to make a donation.

From Green Left Weekly, June 4, 2003.

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